Medical Marijuana program helping 5,000 patients in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE (KALB) - Louisiana pharmacies aren't reporting marijuana shortages or other problems two weeks after patients began receiving the drug for medical use.

Those were the reports Monday from state regulatory officials at a meeting to update therapeutic cannabis supporters about the progress of Louisiana's program.

John Davis is the leader of GB Sciences Louisiana, one of two state-sanctioned medical marijuana growers. Davis told the panel Louisiana has about 5,000 medical marijuana patients so far. That number could increase to 100,000 to 150,000 patients.

The bottles sell at approved pharmacies ranging in price from $80 - $200. Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said his agency has cleared about 9,000 bottles for release. By the beginning of September, officials hope to have another batch prepared and ready for dispense.

Louisiana became the first Deep South state to dispense medical marijuana on Aug. 6, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to therapeutic cannabis.

Nine medical marijuana pharmacies have been permitted to dispense the products. The first available product is a mint-flavored liquid tincture, a bottle containing a dropper to use.

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