Medical cannabis patients in Louisiana are expected to begin receiving products on Tuesday after agriculture officials cleared cannabis from one of the state-approved growers, the Associated Press reports. The announcement comes nearly four years after lawmakers created regulations for the industry.
“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.” — Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, in a statement, via the Advocate
GB Sciences is the first company to have its products tested and approved by the Agriculture Department. The firm partners with Louisiana State University to grow the crops; the state law requires companies to partner with academic institutions. Southern University partnered with Ilera Holistic Healthcare, who planted its first crop last week, but told the AP that their product could be ready by fall.
The state does not permit raw cannabis flower, opting instead for tinctures, pills, inhalers, topicals, and oils. GB Sciences’ first product will be a tincture and is expected to cost between $90 and $200 per bottle depending on the formulation.
There are nine dispensaries in the state awaiting product but its unclear how many will actually be able to start dispensing to patients on Tuesday; one cultivator is currently supplying all of the state’s products. GB Sciences’ growing facility is in Baton Rouge and they might not be able to reach all of the dispensaries across the state in one day.
Jesse McCormick, executive director of Louisiana Association for Therapeutic Alternatives, told the Advocate that getting products to patients was “a long time coming.”
“This is for all the patients, advocates, elected officials, two universities, department staff, employees, volunteers and anyone who took the risk to make this historic undertaking a reality,” he said in the report. “It is a great day for Louisiana. We couldn’t be more proud.”
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