BATON ROUGE, La. – The first permit to dispense medicinal cannabis in Louisiana has been approved by state regulators.
On Tuesday, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy announced Ruston Henry of H & W Drug Store in Gentilly, New Orleans, will be one of the first in Louisiana to receive approval to dispense medical cannabis products.
A subcommittee of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy had selected The Rx Greenhouse for the permit. However, some members of the board felt the Rx Greenhouse location was too near an indoor playground.
Henry took over H & W from his father who started the business about 50 years ago. He worked hard to convince the board that his location was the ideal location for a medical cannabis pharmacy.
“Our location is shared with NOPD, you can’t get any safer than that,” Ruston Henry said according to Nola.com. “We are the safe bet . . . and we will not let you all down,” Henry continued.
Board member Morris Rabb said H & W best met the criteria laid out by officials for receiving a license.
“Having heard the testimony, observed the demeanor of the witnesses and weighed the credibility of each, I move we reject the recommendation of the application review committee, and determine H&W Drugstore, Incorporated is the most qualified applicant and further we award the marijuana pharmacy permit for Region 1 to H&W.”
The other companies that competed for the permit were:
- GNO Medical Dispensary, LLC, 2701 Ridgeland Drive in Metairie.
- P&C Herbals, LLC, 9930 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans East
- Express Way Pharmacy, LLC, 315 West Bank Expressway, Gretna
The board voted 9-0 in favor of H & W and will oversee the entire permit process. Louisiana will have only 9 approved pharmacies dispensing medical cannabis statewide–one for each of the 9 designated health regions. On Tuesday, the board focused on licenses for zones 1-4. On Wednesday, the board will start to make decisions for zones 5-9.
Louisiana will not allow smokeable cannabis and will instead permit topicals, oils, and pills. All medical cannabis will be produced by Southern University and Louisiana State University, the only agricultural facilities in the state approved to produce cannabis.