SU Ag Center holds mandatory conference for potential medical marijuana vendors

BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - "It will allow us to do cutting edge research, not only in human health, but in so many other areas across the Southern University system," said Bobby Phills, the chancellor of the Southern University Ag Center.  

An Ag Center conference room was packed Friday with people interested in becoming a medical marijuana cultivation and production facility operator or vendor for short. 

"It was a mandatory meeting. So, if you want to bid on this, you have to show up today for them to ask questions to clarify information that we provided them in our request for applications," said Adam Orens, founder of the Marijuana Policy Group. 

SU Ag Center is one of two institutions in the state allowed to produce medical marijuana. This conference is part of the process the university has to go through to find a vendor. 

"The application has a $25,000 non-refundable application fee, and we charge that because it takes university resources to take in these applications and to score these applications and evaluate them. So, that fee is there to fund the process," explained Orens. "We're looking for only serious bidders, and so, that's why those costs are integrated into the process." 

For Jacob Irving, who is a medical marijuana advocate and has cerebral palsy, it is more than just about being a vendor.

"So, my hope is that becoming a vendor I can keep another generation of people in Louisiana from going through the same experience that I did. I still here a lot of bad information about medical marijuana. It's been gray and black market and illegal for so long there is not a lot of good science behind it, and I hope to put in an application to set a science fixed standard for patients," said Irving. 

The deadline to submit the application to become a vendor is June 23rd at 2:00 P.M. 

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