The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy this week has awarded nine licenses to dispense medical cannabis to eligible patients.
The board granted four permits on Wednesday and five Tuesday out of 44 total applicants,
Nine different regions of the state were designated and one was selected by the board to serve as a dispensary for each region.
Permits have gone to Medicis in Lake Charles (to include Beauregard Parish); The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy in Alexandria (to include Vernon Parish); Hope Pharmacy in Shreveport; Willow Pharmacy of Madisonville; Delta Medmar in West Monroe; Capitol Wellness Solutions in Baton Rouge; Green Leaf Dispensary in Houma; The Apothecary Shoppe in Lafayette; and H&W Drug Store in New Orleans.
Lawmakers capped dispensing pharmacies at 10 but the board has not yet announced where the tenth license will be going, just that it will be a high-demand area.
Medical cannabis, under current Louisiana law, will be available to patients with a handful of qualifying conditions: cancer, HIV, AIDS, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Cachexia or wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis.
Delivery methods will be limited to oils, oral methods such as pills, sprays or chewables, topical applications, transdermal patches and suppositories. Louisiana law does not allow for any product to be inhaled, raw or smoked, according to the LSU AgCenter.
Those awarded medical cannabis pharmacy licenses have 310 days from the date of issue to open.
Louisiana is setting up a system for a medical cannabis program with available product expected by summer. This system will include just two growers — the agricultural centers of LSU and Southern University.
These two schools have partnered up with private firms to run the grow operations.
The LSU AgCenter recently got a permit to build its facility off Highland Road in south Baton Rouge.
The production facility will not be located on LSU’s campus, and no students nor anyone under 21-years-old will be employed in the facility.
The Southern University Ag Center plans to construct a highly secured indoor facility to perform all functions of the operation as required by state law.
Research will likely include variety development, growth management practices, extraction techniques, compound identification and isolation, drug delivery methods and efficacy testing.