Medical cannabis products, jointly developed by GB Sciences Louisiana (GBSL) and the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center‘s (LSU AgCenter) Therapeutic Cannabis Program, are now available for purchase by qualified patients with illnesses that include multiple sclerosis (MS) at nine state-licensed pharmacies.
The decision, announced by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, marks the first time that cannabis-based products are available to patients in that state with qualifying medical conditions. Louisiana joins more than 30 U.S. states in allowing medical use of marijuana in some form.
In addition to MS, conditions for which medical cannabis will be available as treatment in Louisiana include:
- Different types of cancer
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Seizure disorders
- Spasticity (muscle tightness)
- Crohn’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Severe muscle spasms
- Intractable pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
People diagnosed with any of these disorders who wish to have access to medical cannabis need a “recommendation form” issued by a certified healthcare professional. That recommendation of therapeutic benefit, rather than a prescription, needs to be taken to any of the nine licensed pharmacies to obtain the products.
“This is a watershed moment for our company and the State of Louisiana, reflecting many years of research and development by GB Sciences into the cannabis plant’s biopharmaceutical applications,” John Davis, president of GB Sciences Louisiana, said in a press release.
“For the first time, medical cannabis patients in Louisiana have access to safe, tested products with formulations designed to improve their health and wellbeing,” Davis added.
The first GBSL products available for sale include three different formulations of sublingual tinctures sold in 30 ml bottles: a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich compound (300 mg/ml), a cannabidiol (CBD)-rich compound (40 mg/ml of CBD, and 2 mg/ml of THC), and a balanced compound (5 mg/ml of THC, and 5 mg/ml of CBD).
CBD and THC are the two most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis, the plant genus that includes both hemp and marijuana.
“The LSU AgCenter is excited about the opportunity therapeutic cannabis will provide patients in Louisiana, and we are looking forward to research initiatives that will help us to understand the full potential of this medicinal plant,” said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture.
The Louisiana Legislature passed the Alison Neustrom Act in 2015, setting the foundation for the production and use of cannabis-based products for medical purposes. The LSU AgCenter, in collaboration with GBSL, is one of the two institutions given an official license to cultivate cannabis under this act. The other is Southern University.