Louisiana medical marijuana could reach pharmacies next week


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s first medical marijuana products are one step away from pharmacies, with final testing planned for this week.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says if the product collected Monday from GB Sciences is free of contaminants, medical marijuana could reach patients early next week.

Strain says he’s hopeful the testing will clear the product for release.

Patients have been waiting years for medical marijuana, after lawmakers created the regulatory framework for dispensing therapeutic cannabis in 2015.

Regulatory disagreements slowed getting the product to shelves, with patients, their advocates and lawmakers growing increasingly frustrated with the delays.

Only the LSU and Southern University agricultural centers are authorized to grow medical marijuana. GB Sciences is LSU’s grower. Southern’s grower has estimated its first product could be available by the fall at the earliest.

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