Efforts move forward to bring medical marijuana to Louisiana patients

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When medical marijuana last made headlines, it was a sea of hugs and congratulations between Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, and his supporters.

"I'm just so thrilled for the people over the years who have called me and they say listen, 'my daughter has epilepsy, my son has cancer" said Sen. MIlls.

The Department of Agriculture is in charge of making the rules as to how the state will now make and distribute the drug.

"We have to be extra safe," said Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain.

Strain spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club at the Belle Baton Rouge on Monday. He said the process is still in its early phases.

"We don't know yet how much we have to produce," said Strain.

Nor who's going to grow it. There will be only one grower of the drug in a pill form to treat patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and cerebral palsy.

Medical marijuana use in Louisiana has been legal since 1991, but the state never created the mechanism for the regulated sale or use of the drug. That's now the task of Commissioner Strain.

"We intend to be very open about the process and we are going to cross every 't' and double-dot every 'i'. I put together a team of people who I trust explicitly, who are highly qualified to do this. And they are working diligently," said Strain.

Strain faces a January deadline to figure out how much medical marijuana will cost the state.

The Department of Agriculture is working with the Board of Pharmacy.

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