Southern University moves forward with medical marijuana contract

Southern University moves forward with medical marijuana contract
Marijuana plant (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Southern University has gotten the go-ahead to move forward with its medical marijuana program.

The Board of Supervisors approved a contract Friday with Advanced Biomedics, llc during its regular meeting. Under the agreement, the SU Ag Center will receive more than $6 million over five years. The contract can also auto renew for two more five-year periods, unless there is cause to end the contract. Advanced Biomedics has agreed to provide an additional $1 million signing bonus for each additional contract term.

Advanced Biomedics will support research initiatives through Southern Ag Center's Institute of Medicinal Plants, which is directed by Janana Snowden, PhD.

"This is a momentous event. We are extremely excited to be able to provide quality medicine for the citizens of Louisiana. This groundbreaking research opportunity will also provide revenue for the university and economic development in north Baton Rouge," said Bobby Phills, PhD, chancellor of the SU Ag Center and dean of the College of Agricultural, Family, and Consumer Sciences.

After Southern receives completed background checks from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the school plans to build a facility on the 176 acre plot in Baker. The operation will employ more than 40 people, who will be responsible for growing, manufacturing, and distributing pharmaceutical grade medicines from the cannabis plant.

Products from the school should be available throughout Louisiana in early 2019.

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