Medical marijuana in Louisiana: Questions about cost arise

Three months after medical marijuana became available in Louisiana, doctors and clinics say some patients are finding the cost for therapeutic cannabis too high for treatment, pricing them out of a medication they waited years to obtain.

Nine pharmacies dispense medicinal-grade pot and set their individual prices. Dispensary owners say their charges reflect an industry with startup charges, small patient numbers and lengthy regulatory hurdles to meet.


Louisiana moving forward with industrial hemp program

Louisiana officials hope the federal government will approve the state’s industrial hemp program by Jan. 1 so they can begin issuing licenses.

If all goes according to plan, Louisiana farmers will begin planting the new crop this spring.

Though the federal government is not expected to issue its rules until next month, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has crafted the basic framework based on what they expect the feds will want.

“Almost all states are following a similar pathway,” LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain said Monday to a legislative agriculture committee. “I know there’s a full-court press [by the federal government] to get this done.”


Louisiana industrial hemp program progress

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) announced late last week it has submitted rules and regulations for the state’s industrial hemp program with the State Register’s office.

Louisiana was among a handful of remaining hemp holdout states until Governor John Bel Edwards signed off on HB491 in June this year, which became Act No. 164. Since that time, progress towards seeing the first crops sown legally in the state for decades has been swift.


Agriculture hemp one step closer to reality for Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) filed rules and regulations with the State Register's office on Thursday for the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Program, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.

"Our staff worked diligently to complete and file the industrial hemp administrative rules and regulations," Strain. "Our goal is to have everything in place and licenses issued in time for the 2020 planting season. While there are additional steps that must be completed before the production of industrial hemp in Louisiana is authorized, I remain confident that we are on track to meet our goal."


Synthetic marijuana found in CBD products across multiple States

CBD edibles and vapes spiked with a variety of synthetic marijuana compounds have found their way to consumers in Louisiana, Maryland and nearly a dozen other states, according to a nationwide Associated Press investigation into unregulated cannabidiol products. Synthetic marijuana, often marketed as K2 or Spice, has been linked to mass hospitalizations and other health emergencies across the U.S. and Europe.


After one month, how are Louisiana’s medical marijuana patients doing?

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When medical marijuana became available on Aug. 6, Alex Domino said he had no expectations. For him, the medicine was simply a remedy for a myriad of serious ailments that he had not tried.

One month later, 70-year-old Domino says marijuana has changed his outlook on life.

“Hey man, I can make 94 now,” he chuckled. “I don’t have to work as hard to keep myself calm.”

Domino was the first patient to receive medical marijuana in Louisiana. He complained then about sleepless nights and anxiety, both lingering side effects from his bout with serious colon cancer.


Louisiana medical cannabis program 5,000 strong so far

Louisiana pharmacies aren’t reporting marijuana shortages or other problems two weeks after patients began receiving the drug for medical use.

Those were the reports Monday from state regulatory officials at a meeting to update therapeutic cannabis supporters about the progress of Louisiana’s program.

John Davis is the leader of GB Sciences Louisiana, one of two state-sanctioned medical marijuana growers. Davis told the panel Louisiana has about 5,000 medical marijuana patients so far.

Louisiana became the first Deep South state to dispense medical marijuana on Aug. 6, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to therapeutic cannabis.


Medical marijuana finally available to Louisiana patients after years of waiting

Consumers in Louisiana can now legally purchase medical marijuana after the state became the first in the Deep South to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. 

Nine pharmacies across the state are licensed to dispense medical cannabis, a majority of which will open this week, following four years of regulatory hurdles. The only pharmacy in the New Orleans region, H&W Drug Store, will not open until August 12. 


Louisiana could have medical cannabis on shelves by next week

Patients in Louisiana could see medical cannabis products on dispensary store shelves as soon as next week, according to an announcement from state regulators on Monday. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain said in a press release that the initial batch of cannabis oil formulations had been received from GB Sciences of Louisiana for laboratory analyses by the agency.

“Once testing is completed and the product passes for homogeneity, potency and is deemed free of contaminants, it will be ready for distribution,” said Strain.


Louisiana’s Southern University plants first medical cannabis seeds

The first seeds of Southern University’s future medical cannabis crop have been planted, while Louisiana State University’s product is approaching prime time.

Louisiana State University and Southern University are the only institutions in the state permitted to grow medical cannabis. Both have teamed up with commercial partners in their cannabis ventures; GB Sciences in the case of LSU and Ilera Holistic Healthcare with Southern University.


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