Louisiana is officially the first state in the Deep South to legalize medical marijuana, four long years after lawmakers agreed to give patients access. Despite the delay, medical marijuana patients are happy the day has finally come, as are the pot stocks that are licensed in the state.
Louisiana has now joined 30 other states across the US that have legalized medical marijuana in some form. At present, there are nine pharmacies in Louisiana that are licensed to dispense medical cannabis, most of which are expected to open this week.
Hundreds of patients in Louisiana who are suffering from everything from PTSD to epilepsy to cancer can now breathe a sigh of relief as pharmacies begin stocking up on medical cannabis.
Pot Stocks in Louisiana
At present, only the Southern University and Louisana State University agricultural centers (AgCenter) are authorized to grow medical-grade marijuana. In March, the AgCenter confirmed that GB Sciences (OTCQB:GBLX), one of two state-sanctioned growers, was approved for full-scale operations.
Moving to the main production facility offers the company five times the production capacity for future product development; however, its two previous harvests from the smaller exterior facility were ready for product formulation in time for the big day.
GB Sciences started shipping medical marijuana to registered dispensaries in Louisiana on Tuesday morning after final tests were completed and cleared.
The state is allowing the sale of medical marijuana in the form of oils, pills, liquids, topicals, and an inhaler, while dried flower products will remain illegal.
GB Sciences has created a line of liquid tinctures in three different concentrations and plans to make cannabis-infused dissolving mouth strips available in a month, then topical creams. The company is also holding a series of seminars this month in partnership with state-approved medical cannabis pharmacies and the LSU AgCenter to educate pharmacists and physicians about its new products.
The other licensed grower working out of Southern University is Ilera Holistic Healthcare, a private cannabis company with a dispensary in Philadelphia and a product line that includes topicals, tinctures, and vape pens.
Ilera planted its first crop just two weeks ago and expects its first product to be available by fall at the earliest. The delay in production from Southern University is due to the university severing ties with the first companies it chose to grow medical marijuana.
Potential Opportunity for US Pot Stocks?
As mentioned, Louisiana has only approved two medical marijuana growers to supply the state's entire population. What's more, one of the two is significantly behind in production, meaning suffering patients will have to wait longer to gain consistent access to medical marijuana products.
Either that or the state of Louisiana needs to look for additional sources to supply the demand.
Due to the delays and the high prices expected for the products, Marijuana Business Daily expects sales this year to be between $1 million to $1.5 million.
Although there are a total of nine dispensaries licensed across Louisiana, not all of them will open right away. This week, Capitol Wellness Solutions in Baton Rouge, Willow Pharmacy in Madisonville, and Hope Pharmacy in Shreveport opened their doors to medical marijuana patients.
Meanwhile, hundreds of patients are on the waiting list to receive medical cannabis.
It is exciting to see another US state legalize medical marijuana, albeit being long overdue. It will be interesting to see how Louisiana combats the lack of supply and whether or not additional pot stocks will be selected to provide medical marijuana products to the Deep South state.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos © Omstudio