Southern moves forward with Medical Marijuana Program

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Southern University received the green light to move forward with its medical marijuana program.

The Southern University Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Advanced Biomedics, LLC during its regularly scheduled meeting May 25.

Under the agreement, the Southern University Ag Center will receive more than $6 million over five years. The University’s contract with Advanced Biomedics will be allowed to automatically renew for two additional five-year periods unless there is cause to terminate. The company has also agreed to provide the Center with an additional $1 million signing bonus for each additional contract term.

Advanced Biomedics, LLC will also support research initiatives through the Southern University Ag Center’s Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants (SIMP), directed by Janana Snowden, Ph.D.

“This is a momentous event. We are extremely excited to be able to provide quality medicine for the citizens of Louisiana,” said Bobby R. Phills, Ph.D., chancellor of the SU Ag Center and dean of the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. “This groundbreaking research opportunity will also provide revenue for the University and economic development in North Baton Rouge.”

The Southern University Ag Center is currently awaiting the completion of background checks from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. After this process is completed, the University plans to construct a facility on a 176-acre plot of land in Baker, Louisiana. The operation will employ a staff of more than 40 who will be responsible for growing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical grade medicines from the cannabis plant.

Products will be available in dispensaries throughout the state in early 2019.

Contributed by SU AgCenter