Louisiana 'weeks’ away from medical marijuana rollout

Pharmacists are prepping for product to hit their shelves soon. (Source: MGN)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Medical marijuana could finally be available for Louisiana’s sickest patients in “the next few weeks," according to grower GB Sciences’, Vice President John Davis.

“We’re in the process of bottling the final formulations and we’re waiting to put the labels on the bottles that will describe the contents,” Davis said. “That’s how close we are. We’re all aiming for the next few weeks.”

Disputes between the state and its grower over testing practices and logistics repeatedly delayed the program’s roll-out. Now that those disagreements appear to be resolved, pharmacists are prepping for product to hit their shelves soon.

“We’re super excited about this because it’s on the cutting edge of any medication that we’ve dealt with before,” Capitol Wellness owner, Randy Mire, said.

Capitol Wellness is one of nine licensed pharmacies across the state that will dispense marijuana. Specially-licensed doctors may recommend marijuana to patients, who would then receive their dosage from specially-licensed pharmacists at one of the nine state-approved dispensaries.

“Here in Louisiana, we’re seeing a very different approach that has a good viability to become the gold-standard of what medical marijuana programs should look like,” Mark Slaugh, a cannabis consultant for pharmacies across the country, said.

Capitol Wellness hosted a sort of seminar Thursday night (July 18) for local stakeholders to ask GB Sciences’ scientists questions about their dosing research.

“It demonstrates credibility,” Davis said. “It’s not that we’re saying, ‘Hey, here’s some weed. Go use it.’ Instead, we’re saying, ‘Here’s a compilation of all the peer-reviewed medical literature.’”

“Tonight’s event is centered around making sure they’re educated appropriately and that they know how to recommend for their patients, and what to look for from a scientific standpoint," Mire said. “We’re looking at what clinically supports this.”

The medicine will initially be available in droppers, with three different dosing options.

One mix contains a higher concentration of CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical with purported healing properties. Another will have a higher concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gets its users high. The third mix will be a balance between the two compounds.

The doses are based on what little peer-reviewed research is available since marijuana has been taboo for so long.

After some time, GB Sciences will introduce the medicine in Listerine-style strips that melt on the tongue. Eventually, inhalers, lozenges, and creams will also be available.

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