Priorities for Medical Marijuana Research from the Perspective of Physicians, Dispensary Owners/Staff, and Patients: A Survey Study

Jennifer Jean-Jacques
University of Florida

Objective: More patients are turning to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment yet there are apparent knowledge gaps on risk-benefit of medical marijuana for a variety of indications. This study aimed to determine the priorities for medical marijuana research from the perspective of multiple stakeholders including patients, clinicians, and industry representatives.

Methods: An anonymous survey was administered to attendees of the 2019 American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Respondents completed the survey on paper or cellphone via Qualtrics. The survey included questions on demographics and ranking of medical marijuana research topic area priorities.

Results: 46 participants (56.5% female, mean age = 51.6±14.1) responded to the survey. A majority were medical marijuana qualified physicians in Florida (56.5%), 30.5% other physician or clinician, and 21.7% medical marijuana patients (some participants selected more than one group that they belonged to). On a scale from “1-not important” to “5-extremely important”, the top five priority topics for medical marijuana research rated by this group included: chronic pain (3.7±0.7), dosing and/or medical marijuana product choice (3.7±0.5), research on the human endocannabinoid system (3.6±0.5), different THC/CBD ratios (3.5±0.7), and research in middle aged/older adults (3.4±0.6).

Conclusions: Findings from this survey indicate that medical marijuana stakeholders perceived a broad range in research topics as priorities. Future research is needed to advance the knowledge in these areas and provide guidance to patients, physicians and the medical marijuana industry.

Co-authors: Robert Cook1, Almut Winterstein1, Amie Goodin1, Joshua Brown1, Sebastian Jugl1, Yan Wang1
1University of Florida

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