Nearly a year after the originally planned September 2018 release, the first batch of medical marijuana products could be in pharmacies across the state soon, AgCenter say.
The first products being released are three tinctures, or extracts, that are meant to be dropped under the tongue. There’s a THC-rich tincture, a CBD-rich tincture, and a tincture with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.
The AgCenter is hoping to release them next week. However, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is still waiting for samples of the product to test, and release of the tinctures to patients is dependent on them passing a series of tests to ensure safety and quality, says Veronica Mosgrove, the department’s press secretary.
Mosgrove adds that it could take several business days to test and prepare the products.
LSU AgCenter intends for those product offerings to be expanded, says Ashley Mullens, LSU AgCenter’s medical marijuana program coordinator, and eventually, pharmacists and doctors will be able to make specific requests for formulations and products.
“For the first release, (the pharmacies) are all getting the same three formulations so we can see what takes off,” Mullens says, adding they anticipate demand for medical marijuana to start off slow.
LSU AgCenter is selling the products wholesale to pharmacies, which will set the market price. Mullens doesn’t know how much the nine pharmacies across the state intend to sell the tinctures for, but says LSU AgCenter has met with pharmacists to talk about keeping the product affordable for Louisiana residents because insurance won’t cover medical marijuana.
“These products are triple-tested and will be cheaper than many CBD products on shelves now,” Mullens says.
GB Sciences, LSU’s marijuana growing partner, began full-scale production of medical marijuana in March, and is also considering jumping into the CBD game, according to Mullens, with plans to manufacture its own CBD extracts and products to be sold over-the-counter at pharmacies. Mullens wasn’t able to speculate when they might begin CBD production, saying they’re focusing on medical marijuana first.
Editors note: This story has been updated since it was first published with additional information from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.