SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Another major milestone has taken place in the long-anticipated arrival of medical marijuana in northwest Louisiana.
This latest step came in the form of a permit issued to the new pharmacy that will disburse it to patients. It is just one of 9 such permits, one for each of Louisiana's health regions.
The two year anniversary is fast approaching for the bill signing by Governor John Bel Edwards expanding Louisiana's medical marijuana program.
Fast forward 23 months later, and the Louisiana Pharmacy Board has just awarded the only medical pot license for northwest Louisiana to the newly formed Hope Pharmacy.
The owner, Shreveport pharmacist Doug Boudreaux, spoke to us by phone shortly after that board meeting this Wednesday, April 18, in Baton Rouge.
Boudreaux said they will first tear down the building currently standing at 1410 Kings Highway to make way for the new pharmacy and pot dispensary. It will be located right across the street from the Feist Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport.
"With the medical marijuana we have another item in our toolbox to provide some relief for those patients," explained Boudreaux.
Willis Knighton Pain Specialist Dr. Randall Brewer said he supports this medical marijuana effort. "I think it's time to go ahead and be as forward-thinking as we can in terms of some of these patients that don't have other options."
Boudreaux added that if all goes according to plan the first medical marijuana patients could be getting that medication as soon as this fall. That is if construction is completed for Hope Pharmacy.
At most, he said it could take 10-months to get Hope Pharmacy up and running. That would put the opening in early 2019.
Three Shreveport pharmacies were in the running for a permit to be the medical marijuana dispensary for Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and Webster parishes.