medical marijuana

In Tuesday's Senate Agriculture committee, Senator Gerald Long reacted to a House-approved bill allowing the LSU and Southern University Ag Centers to research the growing of cannabis as industrial hemp.

“I think we’re on slippery slopes here,” suggested Long.

The first seed has yet to be planted, but state lawmakers are –- figuratively — tilling the fields to prepare for medical marijuana.

In the House Agriculture committee Thursday, Rayville Rep. Bubba Chaney questioned Ag Commissioner Mike Strain on where LSU and Southern Ag centers stand on starting production, in light of the state budget cutbacks.

“The facility build-out, the cost of that, is that going to be borne by the universities themselves, or the state?” Chaney asked. “What’s the opportunity there for a public private partnership?”

Sue Lincoln

How do you start a whole new industry from the ground up, especially when that industry is medical marijuana? That’s what state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has to figure out. His department has to come up with the rules and regulations for producing and processing the marijuana by January.

“We are responsible all the way from the seed to the delivery of the final chemical product,” Strain told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

24 years after the legislature authorized the prescribing of medical marijuana, the House has approved the Senate’s bill to set up a system for filling those prescriptions.

“So that it can finally be dispensed in a safe, secure, and responsible manner,” explained New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno, who was handling SB 143 on the House floor for Sen. Fred Mills.

As one might expect, there were objections and counter-arguments. Bossier City Rep. Mike Johnson worried about the state’s image, if the bill passed.

Compassion and Cannabis

Apr 30, 2015

A bill that would set up rules and the system for dispensing medical marijuana advanced out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday. Although law enforcement opposition has derailed similar bills in previous sessions, the difference with Fred Mills’ SB 143 was the support of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association.

“The move that our sheriffs made was to be compassionate; was to do things to provide relief,” Sheriffs’ Association director Mike Renatza testified, “And to hopefully not harm anyone.”

Renatza said each sheriff examined his own conscience, and asked themselves, “What would you do? What would you do for your son? What would you do for your daughter?”