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US (LA): LSU AgCenter finalizes medical marijuana contract
GB Sciences, a cannabis company focused on biopharmaceutical development, has filed patent applications for using cannabis for chronic pain and heart therapies as well as chronic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.
GB Sciences will produce medical cannabis under the LSU AgCenter’s license for patients with very specific conditions.
In compliance with the Alison Neustrom Act, approved medical care providers will oversee patients with debilitating conditions, including cancer, HIV, epilepsy and spasticity. Practitioners may recommend medical cannabis through specific delivery methods and dosages to patients who have exhausted other medical options without a positive result.
“It is extremely important that we can provide patients with safe and consistent options to help improve their quality of life,” said Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture.
The LSU AgCenter has been working closely with state regulators — including the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners — to ensure patient and public safety.
The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners has developed stringent guidelines for doctors to recommend medical cannabis, including regular follow-ups and reporting.
Delivery means are limited to oils; oral methods such as pills, sprays or chewables; topical applications; transdermal patches and suppositories. Louisiana law does not allow any marijuana product to be inhaled, raw or smoked.
GB Sciences will begin renovating the production facility immediately and anticipates product availability for patients by the middle of next year. The production facility is not located on LSU’s campus. No students and no one under 21 years of age will be employed in the facility.
Under the terms of the agreement, the LSU AgCenter will receive $3.4 million or 10 percent of gross revenue, whichever is greater, over five years. GB Sciences will support LSU AgCenter research through funding for personnel, laboratory research space and equipment plus an additional monetary contribution for research initiatives.
As the licensee, the LSU AgCenter is authorized to conduct research on medical cannabis. The LSU AgCenter has had preliminary discussions with LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Health Science Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport about opportunities for research collaboration.
Research likely will include variety development, growth management practices, extraction techniques, compound identification and isolation, drug delivery methods and efficacy testing.
GB Sciences will be responsible for cultivating, extracting, processing and producing medical cannabis, and will provide and perform all other necessary activities to provide usable medical cannabis products for patients through licensed dispensary pharmacies.
As a public institution of higher education, the LSU AgCenter’s partnership with GB Sciences represents a first in the medical cannabis industry.
“We are excited about the opportunities this partnership with GB Sciences will allow,” Richardson said. “GB Sciences is as dedicated to the research and quality as we are, and their team will make this initiative successful.”
Representatives from the LSU AgCenter visited the GB Sciences production facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“GB Sciences has a first-class production and research facility,” Richardson said. “Their model and meticulous attention to detail will be beneficial to the Louisiana program.”
The LSU AgCenter chose GB Sciences following a rigorous selection process for this collaboration.
“We are extremely honored and excited to be working with LSU on this project,” said John Poss, chairman and CEO of GB Sciences. “This is another major step in taking cannabis out of the shadows and into the university research labs, where it has always rightfully belonged. This is a historic event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
No taxpayer dollars will be spent on the project.
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