BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The week of July 22, Southern University officially plants its first medical marijuana seeds.
“This has been a historic week for the university. As one of two institutions in the state and the only historically black university in the nation to be actively involved in the medicinal marijuana industry, Southern looks forward to working with our vendor to provide quality medication for the people of this great state. This will not only make yet another mark in how we excel in STEM disciplines but also how we greatly contribute to our communities,” said Southern University System President Ray L. Belton.
SU received final clearance from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Monday, July 22 after a final walk-through at the facility in Baker. Planting began the following day.
“We remain on target with all of our benchmarks. We look forward to having products to the market by this fall,” said Janana Snowden, lead researcher and director of SU’s newly established Institute for Medicinal Plants.
Snowden, who is also an agriculture professor, says both academic and research opportunities across multiple disciplines are on the horizon for SU. The university is set to receive more than $6 million over five years per its agreement with the vendor. Areas in north Baton Rouge will also benefit from the operation as the facility in Baker should employ more than 40 people who will grow, manufacture, and distribute pharmaceutical grade medicines from the plant.