LSU AgCenter selects vendor for medical marijuana program
The LSU AgCenter has notified the Board of Supervisors of their intent to contract with GB Sciences, Inc., to produce a medical marijuana product for qualifying patients. GB Sciences will work under the LSU AgCenter license in compliance with state law and rules established by regulatory agencies.
In 2015, the Louisiana legislature enacted a law allowing for the cultivation, production and use of medical marijuana. This law provides that the LSU AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Center may be licensed for the production of medical marijuana. The medical marijuana programs will be regulated by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.
No taxpayer dollars will be spent on the project.
The AgCenter collaborated with multiple university departments, including the President’s Office, Finance and Administration, and Procurement, in addition to working with external consultants to review similar proposals from other states with medical marijuana programs. Each qualifying offer was reviewed by a selection team composed of five members with expertise in administration, finance, medicine, botanical research and analytical chemistry, with oversight from LSU Procurement.
GB Sciences, Inc., scored the highest overall score and was selected to move forward with contract negotiations pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors. GB Sciences, Inc., is a publicly-traded medical cannabis company dedicated to scientific innovations that ensure patient safety, therapeutic efficacy and product consistency. The LSU AgCenter is looking forward to research opportunities and the ability to help qualifying medical patients across the state.
Overview of the law
In the 2015 regular session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 143 by Sen. Fred Mills, known as the Alison Neustrom Act. The legislation was then signed into law by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal. As stated in the act, the purpose of the law is to establish rules to prescribe marijuana-derived products for therapeutic use and the regulations relative to its production and distribution. The intent of the bill was to help the countless patients, parents, children and families of Louisiana looking for solutions to their medical issues.
During the 2016 regular session, the Louisiana Legislature passed Senate Bill 271 by Sen. Fred Mills. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law on May 19 as Act 96 of the session. This bill amended the 2015 law, clarifying the existing law to “recommend” as opposed to “prescribe,” to define debilitating medical conditions as specified disease states and to clarify who is responsible for the development of rules for the recommendation, distribution and production of medical marijuana in Louisiana. The range of disease states were expanded in this bill beyond those originally accepted in the 2015 legislation.
Solicitation For Offers (SFO)
The Solicitation for Offers can be found at the website below. It is important to get the information from the website, as additional addendums, questions, etc. will be done through this website as well. It serves to ensure that all vendors receive the same information. We would encourage you to register as a vendor.
Please see the link below to obtain an electronic copy of the above referenced Solicitation for Offer:
Click bid #50001-165
Additional information, requests for copies of the Solicitation for Offers (SFO) and written questions regarding SFO requirements or Scope of Services must be submitted to the SFO Coordinator as listed below:
In this article:
|What is the federal status of medical marijuana (MMJ) and potential changes?|
|How will the project be administered?|
|How will the project be financed?|
|LSU AgCenter Project Concept for the Alison Neustrom Act|
|LSU AgCenter to hold Medical Marijuana Public Forum Oct. 28|
|Medical Marijuana Questions|
|Solicitation for Offers (SFO)|
|The Louisiana Law for Therapeutic Use of Marijuana|
|To get involved|
|Video Stream of the Medical Marijuana Forum|
|Will there be a research and development component added to the initiative?|
Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified marijuana in the Schedule I (highest potential for abuse) category of dangerous drugs.
A number of actions at the federal level may impact how MMJ is viewed in the future. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and seven of her colleagues are urging the federal government to facilitate research on marijuana’s medical benefits. These and other senators are co-sponsors of sweeping legislation introduced in 2015 designed to drastically reduce the federal government’s ability to regulate state-legal MMJ programs, while also encouraging more research on the product.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed a review of MMJ, and the DEA plans to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law in the first half of 2016. Re-scheduling marijuana wouldn’t make it legal, but would ease restrictions on research and reduce penalties for marijuana offenses. This isn’t the first time DEA has been asked to reconsider marijuana’s classification. In 2001 and 2006, DEA considered petitions, but decided to keep marijuana a Schedule I substance. Such a change could impact the rules and regulations on production and distribution.
Public groups are pressuring President Obama to take action prior to the end of the year to facilitate changes in the laws governing the use of MMJ.
A legal entity will be established or use existing foundations affiliated with LSU to provide a legal home for the project. It is my desire to keep this initiative an arms length away from the University but in an entity that has an established a formal agreement with the University. Oversight of the project will rest with the administration of the university and be delegated to the LSU AgCenter. An external oversight committee will be formed with members from the entities and agencies identified in the act. An internal committee of AgCenter administrators and scientists will also be appointed to ensure day-to-day operations are being carried out according to the protocols described in the act.
The act did not appropriate funding for any aspect of the project. It is our recommendation that the project be financed from private sources. The funding needed is yet to be determined but, regardless of the amount, the LSU AgCenter does not have the resources to invest in this initiative. An internal investment for this initiative would exhaust already-depleted LSU AgCenter resources. We do not anticipate there being an issue in finding third parties willing to provide funding and properly capitalize this endeavor.
This Project Concept serves as a reference point for each aspect of the AgCenter’s proposed medical marijuana production program. This document does not contain legal or tax advice, and is prepared based upon estimated data, industry presumptions, and information that is subject to change.
The LSU AgCenter will host a public forum on Oct. 28 to provide an in-depth look at the medical marijuana program as it relates to the AgCenter. Pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1046, the AgCenter has opted in to be licensed as a producer for the state’s medical marijuana program. With the state’s budget constraints, the AgCenter has determined that state funds will not be used to finance the operation. The AgCenter will seek outside investment to fund all aspects of the operation from the physical facility and production operation to the final product formulation.
This meeting will provide an opportunity for parties interested in investing in this program to view and discuss the AgCenter’s business plan. Attendees will receive updates from the AgCenter on the current and proposed regulations from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. The event will take place in the Bo Campbell Auditorium, 100 Gym Armory Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Seating is limited, and registration will be required.
For more information, go to LSUAgCenter.com/agmedical. An agenda and any additional information will be posted on this website as it becomes available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Click here to register.
Twenty seven questions and answers from the Medical Marijuana Forum, will give you background on the law and the plans for development. See the file at the bottom of the page.
LSU AgCenter opts in to medical marijuana production initiative
(06/24/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday (June 24) approved a resolution allowing the LSU AgCenter to begin taking steps needed to obtain a license to produce medical marijuana as part of a state initiative.
Requests for copies of the Solicitation for Offers (SFO) and written questions regarding SFO requirements or Scope of Services must be submitted to the SFO Coordinator as listed below:
PART X-E. THERAPEUTIC USE OF MARIJUANA
§1046. Prescription of marijuana for therapeutic use; rules and regulations; Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the adoption of rules and regulations relating to the dispensing of prescribed marijuana for therapeutic use; the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the licensure of a production facility.
For the full law go to this link: http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=96986
Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1046 establishes the regulations for therapeutic marijuana use, dispensing and production, and provides opportunity for licensing of the production of therapeutic marijuana to the LSU AgCenter. The LSU Agricultural Center has requested and received authorization from the LSU Board of Supervisors to proceed with obtaining the license for the production of therapeutic marijuana. As we continue to move forward in this endeavor, we will post updates to this website to provide the public information on the status of the project and allow vendors and persons interested in being involved a way to submit information for review.
Because of the vast interest in involvement across all sectors, we will unfortunately be unable to accommodate requests for meetings to discuss the project. We encourage all interested parties to visit www.LSUAgCenter.com/AgMedical for the latest updates. You may submit information by email to AgMedical@agcenter.lsu.edu .
Watch the Medical Marijuana Forum through this video stream.
The potential for research in both the plant strain development arena and in extraction, formulation and compounding of the drug are important elements in the initiative. The law as signed by the governor addressed research apart from growing. Future success of the initiative will depend in part on our ability to produce superior plants using our biotechnology techniques to develop strains for expression of specific compounds in the plant. Equally important will be basic clinical research conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the LSU Health Sciences Center to formulate and compound the drug compounds to certain disease states as outlined in the law. Research and data collection also ensure that science is directing the future of the program.