Southern University’s medical marijuana program is one step closer to fruition after receiving a permit this week to start construction on its growing facility on Plank Road.
The small step forward comes less than a year after Ilera Holistic Healthcare bought a majority interest in Southern’s original contracted grower, Lafayette-based Advanced Biomedics, after months of no discernible progress.
Construction will begin before the end of the month, says Tracey Henry, publicist with Ilera. Though declining to comment on when planting will begin, she says the company wants to have product available to pharmacies before the end of the year. Illera is implementing a continual-harvest model, with the ability to expand production as the market matures.
Some $750,000 worth of renovations will be completed to convert an existing 8,875-square-foot building on Plank Road into the growing facility, according to online records. The property was rezoned in March for light industrial use and is being leased by Southern with the option to purchase in the future.