Medical Cannabis to Hit Louisiana Pharmacies As Soon As Tomorrow

While medical cannabis in Louisiana has technically been legal since 1978 when Edwin Edwards signed a bill allowing doctors to “prescribe” it to those undergoing chemotherapy, patients have been waiting years to access it. But, lawmakers put heavily weighted regulations on dispensing it that did not include access for patients. Since then, Louisiana State University and Southern University have been the only authorized cultivators in the state, and due to a lack of testing, have no cannabis available for patients. 

Now, Louisiana’s state agriculture department has officially completed final testing and cleared medical cannabis to make its way to the shelves of pharmacies across the state as soon as Tuesday, August 6. Put into motion last month, the approval from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry came after testing a variety of products from both approved growers at LSU and GB Sciences for homogeneity and potency. 

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain announced that GB Sciences, one of two state-sanctioned growers, can begin shipping products ASAP. “We are pleased to announce that LSU-GBSL’s final medical marijuana product has passed all testing and is cleared for immediate release to the medical marijuana pharmacies,” Strain said to  News Star. He further thanked “everyone who has worked tirelessly from inception through production and testing to make this a reality.” 

John Davis, president of GB Sciences Louisiana has further pointed out the companies excitement over the arrangements with dispensaries. “I can’t tell you how excited we are for patients,” Davis stated to the Associated Press

Under the new approval, bottles of GB Sciences’ liquid cannabis tinctures, edibles, pills, and topicals are being shipped out and delivered to all nine of the approved locations. However, anything smokable is not available under the new law, and with delivery from growers predicted to take more time to reach distant pharmacies, there’s no guarantee of where, if at all, cannabis will be available on Tuesday. Southern grower Illera Holistic Healthcare, for example, has just planted their first crops last week, stalling availability until at least this fall. 

So, while pharmacies could have cannabis tomorrow, it’s not likely you’ll be finding any this season. Be sure to check back for updates! 

Emerald contributor since June 2019

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