Medical marijuana facility to put roots down in Ruston

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:39 PM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KSLA) - Ruston will soon be a medical marijuana hub for north Louisiana. Construction is currently taking place on a warehouse that will soon be one of the biggest medical marijuana facilities in the area.

Some in the cannabis industry say they are excited to see the facility come, even if it could mean new competition.

“Most everything that happens is always down south at LSU or Southern. So for it to be in north Louisiana, and for it to be one of the largest grows in the state, I think that’s really important,” said Bobby Williams with 1620 Essentials Cannabis and Gifts.

According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the two other medical marijuana facilities are in Baton Rouge. One is owned by Louisiana State University, and the other is owned by Southern University.

Williams is the owner of 1620 Essentials Cannabis and Gifts. He says the new facility will help bridge a gap.

“We’re just a CBD shop here. Basically they’re going to be doing is growing medical, supplying smokable flower,” he said.

The new facility, Good Day Farms Projects, will bring more than 200 jobs to Ruston. Mayor Ronny Walker says this is a win-win for everyone.

“That’s a big boost for our economy. But also, the fact that they’re taking a building that’s been empty for four years and spending $20 million in renovations. So that building goes on the tax rolls at much higher rates.

A couple of the main reasons why Ruston was chosen as the facility’s home is the fact that it’s a college town, and it is an ideal location.

“We’re located along I-20, not far from Interstate 49 and Shreveport, but the biggest thing was that we had a building available,” said Walker.

A report by Grand View Research shows the global legal marijuana market size was valued at $9.1 billion in 2020, and is only expected to grow.

Williams says more and more people are also turning to the drug as a more natural way to fight chronic pain and other conditions.

Mayor Walker says they are already starting to grow ahead of 2022, when smokable marijuana will be legal in Louisiana.

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