Ultimatum given to state on medical marijuana pharmacy

Local

Our area’s only medical marijuana pharmacy is setting a hard deadline of May 15th to get products for patients.  This comes after a series of delays from the state.

Thursday the operator of Shreveport’s sole dispensary says the delay is doing nothing but hurting patients.  In northwest Louisiana more than 650 patients have already preregistered for medical grade marijuana.  

Doug Boudreaux says, “We think we got our point across, that patients are desperate for this medication and it’s much needed.”

Last month, Boudreaux, the operator of Shreveport’s medical marijuana dispensary went to Baton Rouge, urging the Department of Agriculture to make the product available to patients.

The demand comes nearly four years after state lawmakers endorsed prescription-grade marijuana.

“People ask me all the time if I’m frustrated about the delay in getting the product.  That’s not the word I would use.  The word is saddened.  We’re saddened by the fact that all these patients are suffering in desperate need of the medication and we can’t get it to them.”

One state-approved grower hopes it can provide a limited supply by mid-May. GB Sciences, which is partnering with the LSU Ag Center, cleared a state inspection to move its marijuana crops to a larger warehouse. However state agriculture officials must still test the products for potency, pesticides and contaminants.

Boudreaux initially expected to have product at the Shreveport facility as early as last October.

“Now we’ve decided, we want product on the shelf by May 15th or we’re holding the state officials, that’s holding it up accountable, for any adverse event, side effect or suffering that patients are having, so we’ve given them a deadline of May 15th.”

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said he hopes to match the May 15th ultimatum, though he has made no commitments, calling product safety his first priority.

Only the LSU and Southern University Ag Centers have legal permission to grow marijuana in the state.

Disputes with a prior vendor have given Southern’s program its own share of delays, though the school hopes to introduce a batch sometime this fall.

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