LAS VEGAS — GB Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB:GBLX), <OTCQB:GBLX),> it all started with one woman’s plea and ended with a call to action for a dramatic expansion of diseases treated by medical cannabis throughout the State of Louisiana.
The passage of the Alison Neustrom Act in 2015 opened the door for a relatively small number of qualified patients to legally receive medical marijuana treatment. The passage of two new House Bills increases the patient count to include patients with additional qualifying disease conditions in the State. GB Sciences is one of only two commercial operations in Louisiana legally able to cultivate medicinal cannabis, and to manufacture and distribute medicinal cannabis-based products such as oils and topical applications in an exclusive partnership with the LSU AgCenter.
The current bills are explained by Louisiana State Representatives.
Louisiana State Rep. Ted James, lead author of House Bill 579, said, “Approving glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and post-traumatic stress disorder as debilitating medical conditions brings Louisiana more in line with other states that have approved medical marijuana programs and helps physicians offer treatment options to more patients seeking relief. We also believe that this medical marijuana treatment option gives Louisiana another tool to fight the opioid prescription epidemic.”
Louisiana State Rep. Rodney Lyons, lead author of House Bill 627, said, “We’re excited about this opportunity to improve the quality of life for families and patients suffering from autism spectrum disorder. This access to medical marijuana will be an available treatment option under appropriate physician oversight.”
The Alison Neustrom Act of 2015 was the genesis of medical marijuana legalization in Louisiana. The bill was named for the woman whose selfless courage and dedication helped usher in a new era of medical possibilities for the State. Alison Neustrom was dying of pancreatic cancer and even though she knew that she would not outlive her campaign, the fight for the legalization of medical cannabis for her condition became a cause that sent her to the floor of the House.
Moved by this act of courage, State Senator Fred Mills, a former pharmacist who authored the Alison Neustrom Act went to work. “The reason I took on this battle was to help people who are suffering. As a pharmacist, I have seen so many people who have debilitating conditions that are often made worse from the side effects of prescription drugs. I truly believe that medical marijuana will give them an opportunity to try something different to get the relief they need. The hardest calls over the past few years have been from people who were very sick, but who did not have one of the conditions to make them eligible for medical marijuana. I am pleased that Rep. James and Rep. Lyons became champions of this cause and I know that the bills we passed this year will help so many people who desperately need it.”
The passage of these two legislative instruments by of the Louisiana House and Senate is a testament to the movement to find safer alternative medical opportunities to opioid prescriptions. Opioid usage is rampant in the United States, fostering the recent startling statistics about the vast increase in the incidence of addiction and death among opioid users.
“The expansion of qualifying disease states will allow the LSU AgCenter, along with our partner, GB Sciences Louisiana, to provide new therapeutic opportunities to patients with these qualifying conditions,” said Dr. William Richardson, LSU Vice President for Agriculture. “We are excited about the research opportunities with this plant and hope to be on the cutting edge of technology for what this plant can do in the future, both in the field of medicine and agriculture.”
GB Sciences CEO John Poss said: “We applaud the forward-thinking actions of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Senate in opening the door to serve a much larger number of patients than the original Bill. The spirit of their actions is a major step in unwrapping the gift of medicinal cannabis not only in Louisiana, but around the world. We are extremely proud to be a key player in this humanitarian movement.”