Louisiana Medical Marijuana

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The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is designated at the state’s lead regulatory agency in the licensure and production of therapeutic marijuana. The Medical Marijuana Program is responsible for licensing and overseeing the production of medical marijuana to ensure safety of the final product.

Program Update 03/22/2019

Where are we?

As of August 1, 2019 the first round of medical marijuana was cleared for release. “We are very excited to announce today that LSU-GBSL’s final medical marijuana product has passed all testing for immediate release to the medical marijuana pharmacies. We wish to thank all persons involved who have worked tirelessly from inception though production and testing to make this a reality. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with LSU-GBSL and SU-ADB/ILERA as we move into the next phase,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

As of July 29, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is in receipt of medical marijuana final product from Louisiana State University’s (LSU’s) sub-contractor GB Sciences of Louisiana, LLC (LSU-GBSL).

A random sample of the final product was selected by LDAF today from LSU-GBSL. Once testing is completed and the product passes for homogeneity, potency and is deemed free of contaminants, it will be ready for distribution.

Test results of the final product conducted by LDAF’s laboratory should be completed within seven business days. If there are issues with the sample, the testing process could be extended.

As of July 22, 2019, SU-ADB/ILERA’s passed their Phase I Facility inspection. They have the authority to begin operation.

As of July 19, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) laboratory is currently testing samples of the third harvested concentrate and bulk formulation. The department’s laboratory is running a preliminary screening for Salmonella spp, E. coli, total yeast, total mold, potency and mycotoxin. All of the preliminary samples are being run as a complimentary service to Louisiana State University Ag Center-GB Sciences of Louisiana (LSU-GBSL) to assist them in labeling their product. Once the laboratory staff completes its testing, LSU-GBSL will have the results needed to label its final product for packaging. The bulk formulation received by the department is not bottled or in packaged form. LDAF is awaiting product in final form in order to randomly select samples to test for contamination prior to distribution to the pharmacies.

The department does not have a timeline on the completion of bottling, labeling and packaging. However, LSU-GBSL and LDAF are working rapidly to get the first medical marijuana product out to the citizens of Louisiana.

Southern University Ag Center-Advanced Biomedics/Ilera Holistic Healthcare (SU-ADB/ILERA) Standard Operating Procedures have been approved and they have assembled a temporary grow structure to begin the process of planting seeds. The final inspection for its temporary grow structure is scheduled for next week. Upon passing, LDAF will authorize SU-ADB/ILERA to start their process.

As of June 19, 2019, the department has completed the suitability background investigation for Louisiana State University-GB Sciences of Louisiana, LLC (LSU-GBSL) and Southern University-Advanced Biomedics d/b/a Ilera Holistic Healthcare (SU-ADB/ILERA). Both were deemed suitable.

LSU-GBSL is now in full operation in their main production facility. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is awaiting final product for testing prior to pharmacy delivery.

SU-ADB/ILERA has assembled a temporary grow tent to begin the process of planting seeds. Once the Standard Operating Procedures are approved and the temporary grow tent passes final inspection, LDAF will authorize SU-ADB/ILERA to start their process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it currently legal to grow medical marijuana in Louisiana?
A. No. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. It is not legal at this time for anyone within the State of Louisiana to grow marijuana for any purpose. Only licensed production facilities will be allowed to grow medical marijuana under Louisiana law. Growing marijuana for any purpose is still illegal under the federal law.

Q. Where can I get a copy of the Act?
A. You can find the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:950, et seq., notice given Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry authority to adopt LAC 7:XLIX. Chapters 1 – 31 to regulate the growing and production of medical marijuana on the LDAF website.

Q. What is the role of Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF)?
A. The department was given the authority to regulate the production of medical marijuana in Louisiana through administrative rules to protect the public welfare of the citizens of the Louisiana.

Q. Who will be administering the permits for the program?
A. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Q. Who are the Licensees that will be given permits to grow and cultivate medical marijuana?
A. Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1046 entitles the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center the right to be licensed as the production facilities.

Q. Will I be able to grow medical marijuana at home?
A. No, unlike some other states, LRS 40:1046 – 1047 does not permit home-grow of medical marijuana. Only a registered licensee will be allowed to grow medical marijuana.

Q. Can I put my name on a list of individuals interested in growing medical marijuana?
A. No. The Alison Neustrom Act named two agricultural centers, Louisiana State University (GB Sciences of Louisiana, LLC) and Southern University (Advanced Biomedics, LL C) as the only legal growers of medical marijuana in the state.

Q. I would like to apply for a License permit. How do I proceed?
A. The legislature has only authorized Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Southern University Agricultural Center to be licensed to grow medical marijuana. Please contact the Board of Pharmacy regarding being licensed to dispense medical marijuana.

Q. Does the Department regulate the pharmacies?
A. No. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy regulates the pharmacies. http://www.pharmacy.la.gov/

Q. Do the rules address where the initial seeds/clones can come from?
A. No.

Q. Can a Production Facility sell excess medical marijuana to other production facilities?
A. No. Production facilities can only sell medical marijuana to pharmacies approved by the Board of Pharmacy.

Q. Can production facilities sell compose made from waste medical marijuana?
A. No. All medical marijuana waste must be rendered unusable and transported to a solid waste facility for final disposition. Please see section § 2705 Disposal of Waste in the Department of Agriculture’s rules for more information.

Q. Can I operate a Production Facility or a Pharmacy?
A. No.

Q. Will we need to use a specific IT vendor or system?
A. The administrative rules stated the production facilities must use Louisiana Medical Marijuana Tracking System (LMMTS) or an inventory system that is compatible with the system the state procures.

Q. Will we need to use a specific security vendor/system?
A. No. The administrative rules do not require a Production Facility/licensee to use a specific vendor or system. It will be the responsibility of the licensee to have the best security possible for their business. Please see section § 1701 Required Surveillance Equipment in the Department of Agriculture’s rules for more information.

Q. Will the Department conduct testing Laboratory Testing?
A. Yes, the Department will handle, test or analyze medical marijuana concentrate and medical marijuana products.

Q. How will Medical Marijuana be transported from Production facilities to Pharmacies?
A. Each Production Facility will provide the Department of Agriculture and Forestry with a transportation plan that adheres to the rules located in the section § 2501. Transportation.

Q. A product has to be packaged from Production Facility to the pharmacy, does this mean it has to be maintained in that package or can it be repackaged at the pharmacy?
A. All products must be packaged and labeled before transport to a pharmacy. Please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry rules located in section § 2901. Labeling Requirement for product handling.

Q. Is there age restrictions in the restricted area of the facility?
A. Yes, no persons under the age of 21 shall enter any restricted area of the facility or be licensed or permitted by the department. Refer to the section §1503. Age Restrictions.

Q. What does medical marijuana consists of?
A. Medical Marijuana―substances which are identified as including any parts of the plant Cannabis sativa, and all derivatives or subspecies of all strains of cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resin, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and all other naturally occurring cannabinol derivatives, whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction. Refer to Act― R.S. 40:1046, et. seq. §101. Definitions for more information.

Q. Will the form of medical marijuana be smokable or a vapor?
A. The law states that it can not be in raw form or smoked. The acceptable forms are oils, extracts, tinctures, sprays, capsules, pills, solutions, suspension, gelatin-based chewables, lotions, transdermal patches, and suppositories.

Q. How many pharmacies were appointed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to distribute medical marijuana?
A. Nine (9) licensed pharmacies were appointed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. May be subject to change. Please contact the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy for more information. http://www.pharmacy.la.gov/

Q. Where will the nine (9) licensed pharmacies be located in Louisiana?
A. Please contact the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy for more information.

Q. How can I get a recommendation/prescription to receive medical marijuana?
A. Please contact the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. https://www.lsbme.la.gov/

Q. What are the eligible conditions for medical marijuana?
A. Louisiana allows medical marijuana for these conditions: cancer, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post traumatic disorder, and some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder.

Q. Is Hemp legal to grow in the state of Louisiana?
A. Hemp is not yet legal to grow in the state of Louisiana. Legislation must be passed by the state legislature before the department can enter into a cooperative agreement with the USDA.

Q. What’s the next step?
A. The department would have to enter into a cooperative agreement with the USDA. Once that is done, rules and regulations would have to be written based on the law for the state of Louisiana and guidance from the USDA.

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