LSU AgCenter will grow and sell smokeable medical marijuana to Louisiana cannabis pharmacies beginning in January 2022.
LSU AgCenter and their private partner Good Day Farm Louisiana opened a new marijuana facility in Ruston on Oct. 20.
The university has one other facility located in Baton Rouge, but the original facility focuses on hemp research that helps local farmers.
LSU Grad student and cannabis researcher Samuel Des Bordes says that the research done in Baton Rouge focuses on best growth practices to help local farmers with their crops.
The expansion was needed after a new law was passed that allows Louisiana patients to purchase smokable medical marijuana.
Until now, Louisiana patients only had access to the medicine in processed forms like gummies, inhalers and oils.
There are two main types of cannabis, hemp and marijuana, and LSU conducts studies on both.
However, only marijuana is considered pharmaceutical medicine.
Des Bordes says that there is very little difference between hemp and marijuana.
“Hemp is going to be cannabis sativa that has a THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, level of less than 0.3 percent,” Des Bordes explains. "Anything over this 0.3 percent pf THC is going to be considered marijuana according to the USDA.”
LSU is one of two licensed cannabis growers in Louisiana, the other is Southern University.
The Ruston operation will be conducted in phases, with each phase adding more square footage to the facility.
Good Day Farm Louisiana President John Davis told The News-Star that eventually the facility will produce about 5,700 pounds of flower per month.
The Baton Rouge cannabis facility will continue to grow and research the plant.