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LSU AgCenter Finalizes Agreement To Produce Medical Marijuana

Chloé Harper Gold

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Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center has completed and signed an agreement to produce medical cannabis products with GB Sciences Louisiana, LLC. The agreement will allow the two entities to work in tandem to provide medical marijuana patients in Louisiana with quality medication under the state’s guidelines.

Medical Marijuana in Louisiana

In Louisiana, lawmakers and politicians legalized medical cannabis in 2016. The first attempt to do so a year before in 2015 failed due to the wording of the bill. Originally, the bill attempted to allow doctors to “prescribe” cannabis to their patients. When the language was changed, using the word “recommend” instead, the bill was signed into law.

However, since the medical marijuana program in Louisiana is so restrictive, many patients still can’t access it. The law, also known as the Alison Neustrom Act, limits the recommendation of medical cannabis to patients with terminal, chronic, and/or debilitating illnesses. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and glaucoma qualify patients in Louisiana. Chronic ailments like Crohn’s Disease and epilepsy allow the recommendation for medical marijuana as well.

It is not only the short list of qualifying conditions that make medical cannabis in Louisiana hard to access, though. According to state laws, medical marijuana patients may neither smoke nor vaporize their medicine. Currently, there are only a few acceptable methods of using cannabis. Patients may take it topically, orally, or through suppositories.

The Agreement

The agreement that has been finalized between LSU AgCenter and GB Sciences Louisiana is a step toward making medical cannabis more accessible to patients. GB Sciences is a biopharmaceutical research center that focuses exclusively on cannabis. Since weed is federally illegal, GB Sciences established themselves in the state of Nevada, where the plant is legalized.

Now that the agreement between LSU AgCenter and GB Sciences Louisiana has been signed, GB Sciences will be able to start producing medical cannabis products under LSU AgCenter’s state license.

GB Sciences Louisiana has stated that now that the agreement has been finalized, they will begin the necessary renovations of a production facility. They hope to have their medical cannabis products available for Louisiana patients by mid-2018.

Although the agreement is with Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center, representatives from the school have stressed that the GB Sciences’ production facility will not be located on the LSU campus and that no taxpayer dollars will be utilized. Furthermore, no one under the age of 21 will be permitted to work in the facility. LSU students are also ineligible for employment there.

Final Hit: LSU AgCenter Finalizes Agreement To Produce Medical Marijuana

So far, it seems that the people involved in the agreement are optimistic. In an official statement on the matter, LSU’s vice president for agriculture, Bill Richardson, expressed excitement at the prospect of improving the lives of medical cannabis patients. The CEO and chairman of GB Sciences, John Poss, is also enthusiastic about the opportunity to change the public’s perception about cannabis by bringing it to a university research lab.

The research that will take place at the production facility will be extensive. According to reports, it will include growth management, testing, drug delivery methods, extraction techniques, and even compound identification and isolation.

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