On Feb. 23, 2017, Louisiana’s Southern University Land-Grant Campus held a town hall meeting on medical marijuana, providing attendees information on the university’s plans to move forward with the state’s medical marijuana program.
Following a legal overview by Attorney Winston Decuire, Jr., and a medical overview by Rani Whitfield, M.D., Dr. Janana Snowden, director of the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants, announced that SU will issue a Request for Proposals from cultivators in the middle of March and that the application window would likely be open for 30-45 days.
SU will only select one applicant to contract with and plans to do so by the end of the summer, with that applicant having to invest $5-7 million in the operation and implement a seed-to-sale tracking system.
“This Medical Marijuana Program will give us the ability to reach out into the community and provide some help by making medicine for debilitating medical conditions. We will also conduct research on other medicinal plants through the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants,” said Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby R. Phills.
In regards to the location of the cultivation facility, SU has opted to use undeveloped land at its Agricultural Experiment Station in Baker. The facility is not on campus and students will not be allowed to be involved in the facility’s cultivation and processing operations.
Southern University and Louisiana State University have been sanctioned by the state to be Louisiana’s medical marijuana providers. LSU is also currently seeking a cultivator to run its medical marijuana operation.