Louisiana’s medical cannabis program has grown significantly in a short period of time, and is currently serving 5,000 patients.
According to The Advocate, Louisiana State University launched its medical cannabis program on Aug. 6, which prompted the beginning of shipping tincture bottles to local pharmacies—so far dispensaries haven’t reported any shortages or other issues. State regulatory officials updated supporters with positive data about the program so far.
John Davis, the head of GB Sciences Louisiana and one of only two legal cannabis cultivators approved by the state, reported that the program now has 5,000 medical patients, but that number could soon increase to 100,000, or even 150,000. “It appears the supply chain is working perfectly or as well as it can be,” Davis told The Advocate.
Currently, cannabis tinctures are sold in bottles at certain approved pharmacies for $80-200. Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain claimed that the industry has so far cleared around 9,000 bottles for release. Officials hope to have another batch ready in anticipation of more customers by the beginning of September.
GB Sciences Louisiana intends to further educate state physicians by holding information sessions in the future. “If we educate, the patients will learn, and it will stair-step up,” Davis added. “We don’t want everyone showing up at the same time.”
So far, nine medical cannabis pharmacies have officially been approved to dispense medical cannabis. The first product made available to patients is a mint-flavored tincture with a dropper, a product that has already proven to be successful.
Ever since it was first announced that Louisiana was getting medical cannabis, patients in the state have been excited about the new program. While some are disappointed that legal, smokable cannabis has not yet been approved, this is still huge for cannabis in the southern states. It will be exciting to see what the next few years have to offer, and whether other states follow Louisiana’s lead.