BATON ROUGE, La. — Medical marijuana in Louisiana is moving closer to production, with a contractor for the growing operation chosen by Louisiana State University.
The LSU AgCenter has selected a New Orleans affiliate of a Las Vegas company to do the work. GB Sciences was chosen from seven potential vendors.
A contract awaits consideration by the university governing board on Thursday.
Louisiana lawmakers agreed to a framework for dispensing medical marijuana in 2015.
The law will eventually get medicinal-grade marijuana to people with cancer, a severe form of cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other diseases. Eligible patients are expected to have access to the drug next year.
No state tax dollars are involved in producing medical marijuana. LSU estimates it will take at least $11 million to start the operation, which is why a contractor will be involved.
Southern University is Louisiana’s other authorized medical marijuana grower, and also remains in the planning stages. The university is expected to choose a vendor to run its program later this year.
Ten distributors will be selected to sell the drug. The medical marijuana will be available in medicinal oil and other forms, but not in a form that can be smoked.