SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local Shreveport pharmacist talks about the benefits of medical marijuana patients smoking raw cannabis for treatment after House Bill 391 easily passed in the house.
State senators will tackle the topic of allowing medical marijuana patients to smoke cannabis as they expand the medical marijuana program for Louisiana. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Tanner Magee in April of 2021.
Douglas Boudreaux, with Hope Pharmacy, expressed great gratitude for the success of the bill.
“I’ve been a pharmacist for 28 years and this is a miracle. I’ve never seen a drug do what this medication can do,” Boudreaux said.
The bill was passed on May 3rd and now awaits a referall from the Senate.
The proposed bill allows physicians to prescribe a smokeable form of medical marijuana to their patients.
“I have patients that come in with walkers and they leave and come back and don’t have a walker,” Boudreaux said in excitement.
He shared how the chemical structure of marijuana differs from other drugs.
“A typical drug in pharmaceutics has one chemical structure. Marijuana has 109 different cannabinoids with maybe four or five hundred different chemicals,” he said.
Under the current law doctors can only prescribe marijuana in processed forms.
Boudreaux said by using the plant in its raw form, the production cost would lessen making the treatment affordable for patients.
“We were limited to tinctures and vapes and creams, for a very short period of time. What that gives us is another tool in our toolbox to take care of patients,” he shared.
He said he sees over 50 patients a day with a variety of diseases.
“Depending on the disease state, you know we got some very very severe patients, but they usually start at $50 dollars some go all the way up to $400 dollars.”
To get into the program patients have to fail at other medications they’ve used for pain according to Boudreaux.
“The majority of our patients are pain patients, but we do have a lot of PTSD and patients with radiculopathy, specific types of pain. Any expansion of the marijuana program having to do with medical marijuana is always a plus,” he said.
The plant based drug is set to make its way onto the markets in January of 2022.