On April 17, The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy announced that it had approved the first medical cannabis pharmacy in Louisiana. H&W Drug Store was selected from a pool of five applicants for the pharmacy permit for Region 1, which includes New Orleans, Louisiana. The board’s hearing took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where representatives of H&W Drug Store presented a passionate presentation.
Ruston Henry is CEO of H&W Drug Store, which has been in operation for over 50 years. “We all participated in this process. It’s been a long, arduous process, but the Louisiana Board evaluated everybody and they’ve come to the conclusion that we were the best to handle this,” Henry told WWL-TV Channel 4. “H&W Drug Store has never had any problems with the Louisiana Board Pharmacy, any sanctions like that. We keep everything clean. Locally grown. Locally owned. Locally operated. This is Louisiana. And we’re proud of it.”
According to The Times-Picayune, the board rejected the recommendation from a subcommittee to approve a different pharmacy, The Rx Greenhouse, which operates in Maryland, but was hoping to expand to Louisiana. The recommendation for The Rx Greenhouse was rejected because of a nearby playground. The people behind The Rx Greenhouse were not happy about the decision, since the subcommittee selection put them at the top of the list.
The subcommittee ranked H&W Drug Store fourth out of five applicants, but the pharmacy ended up being the board’s final selection.
Ironically, H&W Drug Store shares a parking lot with the New Orleans Police Department, which may have played a part in why it was selected for the permit. With over 50 years of institutional knowledge of traditional pharmacy operations, Henry is prepared to blaze trails in Louisiana’s new medical cannabis industry.
Louisiana’s unique medical cannabis law calls for no more than 10 licensed pharmacies to function as dispensaries. Now that the state has its first pharmacy location, the sale of medical cannabis could soon begin.