First HBCU in the United States to Enter Medical Cannabis

Southern University, an HBCU in Baton Rouge, has officially planted the first seeds in its program to supply medical cannabis to Louisiana patients.

Southern University becomes only the second institution in the state providing medical cannabis in Louisiana, as well as the only historically black university in the country to be involved in the medical cannabis industry.

The university is located in Baton Rouge and the seeds were planted by Ilera Holistic Healthcare in a nearby facility in Baker, Louisiana.

“This has been a historic week for the university,” said Ray L. Belton, Southern University System president-chancellor in a statement to the Shreveport Times. “As one of two institutions in the state and the only historically black university in the nation to be actively involved in the medicinal marijuana industry, Southern looks forward to working with our vendor to provide quality medication for the people of this great state. This will not only make yet another mark in how we excel in STEM disciplines but also how we greatly contribute to our communities.”

Southern is expected to earn over $6 million over five years as a result of its deal with Ilera Holistic Healthcare. The North Baton Rouge region is anticipated to benefit from the plan as well, the facility is set to employ more than 40 individuals. The facility who will be growing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis plant medications.

Southern University and LSU are the only universities in Louisiana that have authorization for agriculture centers to grow medical marijuana, under a 2015 law. Louisiana State University’s cannabis growing vendor is GB Sciences.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says that Medical Cannabis may reach pharmacies and qualified patients within the next week.

Featured image via Southern University.