Tulane competes for 10th state medical marijuana license • The Tulane Hullabaloo


Louisiana’s tenth coveted medical marijuana license is ready for acquisition.

One of the contenders: Tulane University.

At stake is the right to provide medical marijuana in a country that regulates sales of the medicinal drug so much that any new entrant is almost guaranteed No competition, high profits.

The university applied for the license in September, along with 27 Other applicants, including New Orleans St. Steve Gleason and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Katie Bernhardt. Everyone will soon present their case to the state board of pharmacy in hopes of joining a select group of companies.

“These licenses are a really hot commodity,” said Dr. Mordechai Bottas, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Tulane.

Just two farmers Currently, nine pharmacies are allowed to benefit from the lucrative state market. The 10th license represents the latest relaxation of the rules that have bound the industry since it opened in 2019. From tinctures, to oils, to smokeable flowersLouisiana has cautiously legalized medical marijuana use over the past three years, paving the way for new treatments for chronic conditions, but also raising questions about safety and access as demand rises.

Louisiana’s steps reflect rapidly changing attitudes about drugs, which have long been criminalized. Growing numbers of Americans Wants For marijuana use, their state governments listening.

If the Board of Pharmacy grants Tulane the license, Potash said, “there is huge potential for research.” But, “the more products you have, the more drugstores you have, the more medical marijuana products are distributed to people. The more products dispensed, the greater the chance that they will be shared or passed on to people who are not supposed to use them.”

Tulane app

Tulane is vying for licensing to expand treatment services to physicians, medical students, and patients.

“We want to be at the forefront of medicine to support an environment in which traditional therapies coexist with alternative therapies such as medical marijuana,” said Leslie LeBlanc, director of Tulane Pharmacy.

If approved, the pharmacy will be named Tulane Medical Marijuana Dispensary and open in Chalmette, Louisiana, next July, according to application materials obtained through a public records request.

The university currently operates three traditional pharmacies, two in New Orleans and one in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Tulane’s order says that all pharmacy employees will complete an initial medical marijuana training course and at least one hour per year of medical marijuana education. The documents also state that the pharmacy will offer one-on-one counseling, provide an educational chain and train new patients on safety methods to avoid diverting medical marijuana to unauthorized users.

Tulane will present his case to the review committee in November. This group will make a recommendation to the Board of Pharmacy, which is likely to decide on licensing by the end of the year.

Bottas said the biggest challenges in opening the nine existing pharmacies were finances and supplies. There are dozens of types of medical marijuana products allowed under Louisiana law, and they all must come in different strengths to suit each individual patient’s needs.

Bottas said that granting the license to Tulane will provide huge research opportunities for the medical school, noting that a Study the University of Alabama at Birmingham that examined the effects of CBD, a chemical found in marijuana, on epilepsy patients there. He could repeat this work, Tulane said, and pursue his own research interests.

Research on medical marijuana is limited, said Dr. Erwin Podesta, a clinical faculty member of psychiatry at Tulane, often based on patient anecdotes rather than clinical studies. She said Toline could bring more weight to the industry than the nine existing pharmacies.

“Some of them are not very knowledgeable in the pharmacy world, and they see it as only financial gain,” Podesta said. “The academic institution will be better armed to be able to navigate the medical part of this.”

LeBlanc said Tulane has no concrete plans yet for how the proposed pharmacy will work with Tulane Medical School, but the goal is to continue education and provide community resources.

Pottas said potential areas of research could include the effect of medical marijuana on conditions such as depression, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“How effective is medical marijuana actually with those indications?” He said. “That’s a really open question.”

Past, present and future

In 2019, concentrated cannabis extracts were called tinctures It became the first legal medicinal marijuana product sold in Louisiana. From there, the conservative legislature slowly relaxed the restrictions. In 2020, the state allowed doctors to recommend medical marijuana to anyone exhausted Ranging from anxiety and cancer. And last January, the country added a smokeable substance flowers To the growing list of medical marijuana products available in pharmacies, which has led to a high demand.

The process is still restricted. The tenth pharmacy is first New license granted since 2019, all pharmacies are geographically distinct.

“These pharmacies generally don’t compete with each other,” said Pottas.

State law says pharmacies may open ‘satellite’ your location If they reach 3,500 active patients. Seven Of the nine pharmacies currently operating that meet this standard, only the H&W Drug Store in New Orleans has pursued plans to open a satellite.

Bottas said he expects the industry to continue to grow, but he hopes it will be gradual, citing the over-prescription problems that have historically plagued the neighboring opioid market.

“Too many products there creates abuse,” he said.

Podesta said there is a lot of value to using medical marijuana in controlled forms, but it’s not for all patients.

“We have to be aware and aware because this is going to turn into a substance of abuse,” she said. “We just have to walk that line.”

Podesta said she would like to see Tulane grant licensing because medical marijuana is quickly becoming mainstream, and adding a university to the pharmacy operators mix could reap financial benefits and help researchers deepen understanding of the drug’s effects.

Times have changed a lot,” Podesta said. “We’ve seen a real shift in culture, as well as a shift in the medicinal use of plant medicine.” But, “If we’re calling it medical, let’s get a medical institution to be a part of the research and solution.”