LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - This week marks a historic moment many in Louisiana have been waiting for: the first medical marijuana pharmacies in the state are now open.
That includes Medicis Pharmacy, which opened its doors in Lake Charles for the first time Wednesday morning.
Combat veteran Delmar Jason Reed was the first in line at the grand opening of Medicis.
He said he’s tried medical marijuana before in other states that have already legalized it.
“I have PTSD, I have sleep apnea, so many chronic pains I have in my body," Reed said. "Steel screws in my body. This is going to help me out a lot.”
Stories like Reed’s are the reason John Condos decided to open Medicis.
He said this day is one he’s been waiting on for years.
“My mother actually recently died from ovarian cancer and would have been a perfect candidate for this," Condos said.
Medicis Pharmacy is one of nine approved pharmacies in the state to sell medical marijuana.
James Thibodeaux, a pharmacist for Medicis, said you have to have a prescription from a doctor in order to get medical marijuana.
You also have to have one of 16 debilitating conditions in order to qualify for a prescription.
There are different forms of medical marijuana offered at the pharmacy, ranging from $99 to just under $200.
Thibodeaux said one of the things he’s most excited to see is people who are currently prescribed multiple Opioids being able to cut down on them with medical marijuana.
“Any state that has access to medical marijuana, you’re seeing decreases in Opioid overdoses, and patients are getting relief from it from pain,” Thibodeaux said. “If they don’t get off of Opioids completely, just cutting back is much safer.”
He currently takes seven to eight medicines each day, but with the help of medical marijuana, he’s hoping to drastically lower that number.
“All that medicine we’re taking from the VA, it’s great, it helps eliminate pain, anxiety or whatever, but it’s tearing our internal organs up," Reed said. "Our kidneys, our liver, it’s destroying it. And I’d rather have something natural.”
You can find a full list of Lake Area doctors who prescribe medical marijuana HERE.
In order to get a prescription, you must have one or more the following ‘debilitating conditions.’
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Severe Muscle Spasms
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- HIV / AIDS
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Seizure Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease