Two Louisiana universities have decided to start cultivating medical marijuana within their territory, an action allowed by the current state law. The state is authorized to have a single cultivator, and both local universities have shown interest in the project.
The Department of Agriculture and Forestry granted the Louisiana State University (LSU) and the Southern University (SU) the choice of being the first official cultivators in the state, to which the institutions replied in a positive way by starting the procedures to obtain the official permit.
The LSU Board of Supervisors approved on Friday a resolution to allow the LSU AgCenter to begin with the procedures to officially obtain the license and produce medical marijuana with the direction of the program, according to a press release from the institution.
“The AgCenter’s scientific reputation in best management practices for production of plant materials, crop variety development and collaboration with medical research scientists qualifies us for the medical marijuana production license in Louisiana,” commented Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture, in the statement.
The LSU have asked the AgCenter to start developing a plan of operation to address the new obstacles that come with the requirements for the project such as financing, facilities, equipment, personnel and security of the medical marijuana initiative.
According to the LSU, the chosen center will not receive additional state funding related to the action. This support will be held by a third party that will carry out the project with private financing under an agreement directly with the center.
— Marijuana.com (@mjdotc) June 23, 2016
An effective decision
Southern’s Interim Chancellor Dr. Adell Brown stated that the adoption of the legislation was instrumental in the university’s decision to move forward. This year’s bill makes it possible, Brown commented, while adding that it is known they can produce it and that there will be a market for it as reported by The Times.
“We are a comprehensive university with a strong agricultural center. This will help with our enrollment, our finances and will allow us to provide a public service to the citizens of Louisiana,” Brown said.
However, the state law does not protect cultivators, growers or distributors from federal prosecution, due to this practice is still illegal nationwide. Marijuana remains as a “Schedule I drug,” which means that some penalties could apply for possession or distribution if it is determined this it is not intended for medical purposes.
Groups sensible to the new policies in Louisiana has shown worries about the approach. David Brown, president of the organization Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana told The Times that serious legal issues and concerns remain as the state move forward with the initiative of making medical marijuana accessible to those who qualify for its use.
— HIGH TIMES (@HIGH_TIMES_Mag) May 17, 2016
Brown said that the practice is still illegal in a general approach, and the LSU and the SU are, like most universities, federally funded.