The Louisiana Legislature is considering multiple bills this year that would expand the state’s medical cannabis program, which began serving patients in 2019.
Proposed legislation would increase the number of cultivation and pharmacy licenses in the state and allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical cannabis to patients, among other provisions, according to a WVUE report.
Louisiana’s medical cannabis program is currently one of the most expensive in the country for patients, the news outlet reported, due to the state only licensing two cultivators.
“It definitely causes some issues with supply,” Jeff Schmidtke, executive director of BioSciences Louisiana, told WVUE. “It also causes some issue with contingency. What is the backup? What is the population supposed to do when an entire harvest fails, either through failing tests, or spoilage, or contamination?”
Louisiana’s two licensed cultivators, Southern University and LSU, have partnered with Ilera Holistic Healthcare and Good Day Farm to grow medical cannabis for the state’s patients.
Schmidtke told WVUE that while his company would also like to also launch a cultivation operation, it cannot receive a license due to Louisiana’s licensing cap.
“We are working towards an opportunity to participate,” he told the news outlet. “There have been testimony from various pharmacy owners that have stated, as early as 2021, they have had a hard time maintaining a consistent level of supply.”