Dig Baton Rouge

Sparring continues over Louisiana Medical marijuana

The medical use of cannabis in the state of Louisiana was made legal way back in 2015, but a series of regulatory hangups have stalled patient access to the medicine.

Tasked with overseeing grow operations, The LSU Agricultural Center has been faced with numerous challenges from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.

According to a report from USA Today, LSU and its partner, cannabis grower GB Sciences, sent a letter Wednesday to the agriculture department’s program director outlining efforts to secure final approval to begin cultivating cannabis in GB’s Baton Rouge facility.

The letter indicates the AgCenter and GB Sciences’ frustrations in their dealings with the ag department and Commissioner Mike Strain.

In spite of an $8 million dollar investment in facilities and equipment, GB Sciences can’t begin growing cannabis to supply the state’s nine licensed pharmacies until Strain signs off on a “suitability” background investigation conducted by the Louisiana State Police. GB contends that the investigation is unduly difficult, and is simply a stall-tactic to ensure that medical cannabis never makes it to the public.

For his part, Strain denies any willful obstruction in the process, placing the blame instead on LSU and GB Sciences. According to Strain, it’s the failure of LSU and their cultivator to cooperate with the State Police investigation that has stalled the approval process.

As the two sides go around and around, Louisiana medical marijuana patients continue to go without the voter-approved medicine that could ease their symptoms.

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