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The Florida Department of Health has announced a grant that will allow researchers at the University of Florida to study the safety and efficacy of using cannabidiol as a therapy for treating childhood epilepsy. The grant was made in accordance with Florida’s Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act and dedicates $1 million to cannabidiol (CBD) research at the university.

The decision to fund the research achieved support following a thorough inspection of peer-reviewed science previously generated in the research community. Dr. John Armstrong, Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, said of the grant:

“This funding helps Florida’s families dealing with severe childhood epilepsy to have access to an investigational cannabidiol medication as researchers work to answer important questions about the effect of this medication.”

In accordance with Florida law, researchers and patients who elect to participate in cannabidiol studies will be required to gain FDA approval and adhere to the FDA’s Expanded Access program protocols which govern the use of investigational new drugs. The University of Florida’s research is intended to examine the effects of cannabidiol in children whose epilepsy has not responded to a majority of the current FDA-approved drug therapies for the disease. Cannabidiol will be used in conjunction with conventional therapies for controlling epilepsy, a disorder that affects the daily quality of life for children and their parents and may be fatal in some instances.

Florida State Senator Rob Bradley and State Representative Matt Gaetz released separate statements praising the Florida Department of Health’s decision to fund cannabidiol research. Gaetz said of the grant:

“I’m grateful for the Florida Department of Health’s continued efforts to ensure children with intractable epilepsy have access to a safe, effective product.”

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