SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Three Shreveport pharmacies are in the running to sell medical marijuana in Northwest Louisiana.
A special review committee has narrowed the field of 44 applicants statewide to 13, said Malcom Broussard, executive director of the Louisiana Pharmacy Board.
And that list will have to be whittled further still since there are only nine marijuana pharmacy permits up for grabs in the state.
Representatives of the remaining 13 companies are preparing to meet with state Pharmacy Board members in a special hearing March 27-28 in Baton Rouge.
The pharmacies seeking permits to operate in Northwest Louisiana are NorLa Pharm, Hope Pharmacy and Bayou Dispensary.
Once the nine licenses have been awarded, the permit holders must begin operations within 310 days. That's about 10 months.
Broussard said each dispensary's starting date will differ, depending on the opening of their location, if they're not already serving customers, and when the marijuana producer would have the product ready to supply to the pharmacy.
Remember, Louisiana's medical marijuana supply will be grown only by the agricultural centers at LSU and Southern University.
Under Louisiana law, marijuana can be available in medicinal oils, pills, sprays, topical applications and other forms but cannot be sold in a form to be smoked.
Current eligible diseases for medical marijuana prescriptions in Louisiana include cancer, a severe form of cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other diseases.
KSLA News 12 reached out to the three pharmacies seeking to operate in Northwest Louisiana.
The one owner we spoke with did not wish to comment, noting that he didn't want to jeopardize his upcoming hearing with the board.