School board plans to define medical marijuana policy

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County School Board is planning to define it’s medical marijuana policy and vote to approve it in one of their upcoming monthly meetings.

The Florida legislature is requiring each school district in the state to adopt a policy and procedure for allowing a student who is a qualified patient to have access to their medical marijuana and identify how the marijuana will be received, accounted for and stored.

“I’m bringing this to you because it is required by law that we have a policy,” explained superintendent Ken Kenworthy to school board members at their meeting on Sept. 6.

Under the proposed policy an individual who has been legally prescribed medical marijuana or low-THC cannabis would have it administered to them from their primary caregiver on campus. The policy would exclude any school personnel or other students from handling the medical marijuana.

“We’re not going to store it, we’re not going to administer it, all we would do under this policy is provide the location so that primary caregiver could come and administer it to that qualified patient if it is required to do so during school hours,” said Mr. Kenworthy.

School board member Dixie Ball asked if Mr. Kenworthy was aware of any student currently enrolled in the school district who would qualify under the new policy and the superintendent responded that as of this time no student has approached any school officials with a prescription.

Also at their meeting, the school board voted to approve the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s guardian program agreement.

“This agreement for the guardian program needs to be put in place in order to draw down funds and adequately assign roles between the school boards and the sheriff’s office,” said Mr. Kenworthy. “We appreciate the sheriff for putting this together and allowing the guardian program to operate in our district.”

Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen was present at the school board meeting and reported that the sheriff’s office has already received just under ten applications from school staff in Okeechobee for the guardian program and that they have reviewed those applications and are moving into the interview process now.

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