Dr. Jason Pirozzolo is in the spotlight this week for his connection to Representative Matt Gaetz. Pirozzolo is a Florida hand surgeon and marijuana entrepreneur who has previously donated to the Congressman’s campaigns.
Pirozzolo is co-founder of the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, where he is currently Chairman of the Board. Gaetz spoke at AMMPA conferences in 2017 and 2018.
The surgeon made two donations of $ 1,000 to Friends of Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican campaign group, in March 2016 and May 2017.
Gaetz spoke to The Orlando Sentry about Pirozzolo in 2019.
“Dr. Pirozzolo was part of the healthcare transition team,” Gaetz told the newspaper.
“I asked him to make transition recommendations for the Department of Health and interview for the Surgeon General position, which he did.”
The marijuana entrepreneur was not named to serve as Florida’s surgeon general, but Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Pirozzolo to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s board of directors on Gaetz’s recommendation. The GOAA oversees the Orlando Airport.
Pirozzolo told the Sentinel in a 2019 email: “Fortunately, the DeSantis team made the decision easy for me and due to the fact that I was heavily involved in the medical marijuana industry and had several businesses in the medical marijuana, “Pirozzolo told the Sentinel in a 2019 email.
“The [surgeon general] and [Department of Health] run the medical marijuana industry here in Florida, [so] even if I stepped aside entirely, it would be an insurmountable conflict of interest. “
As a member of the GOAA Board of Directors, Pirozzolo welcomed then-President Donald Trump and Melania Trump upon their arrival in Orlando on June 18, 2019, alongside Governor DeSantis.
Pirozzolo spoke to the Ganjapreneur.com podcast in July 2018 about Gaetz’s efforts to introduce federal legislation to increase research into the medicinal uses of cannabis.
“In fact, Congressman Matt Gaetz is working on legislation in Washington, DC that will help facilitate research at the national level. And we should see a lot of benefits,” he said.
“We have members of Congress currently dealing with this federal legislation,” he said.
Gaetz twice introduced a medical cannabis research law, first in April 2018 and then in January 2019. The bill was not passed in the House of Representatives.
The congressman, who represents Florida’s 1st District, faces an investigation into allegations of sex with a 17-year-old girl. He denies the allegations and said they were part of a $ 25 million extortion plot against him.
Newsweek asked Jason Pirozzolo for comment on this article.