Louisiana expanding number of medical cannabis dispensaries

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The number of dispensaries in Louisiana licensed to dispense medical cannabis will soon expand from the current nine.

Regulators informed seven of the nine pharmacies – as dispensaries are called in Louisiana – that they were each eligible to apply to open one “satellite” location, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported.

Each pharmacy operates in a designated region in the state. A pharmacy becomes eligible to open a second location once it reaches 3,500 registered patients.

In the second quarter of 2022, Louisiana listed nearly 35,000 patients, roughly triple the number compared to the second quarter of 2021, The Times-Picayune reported.

The pharmacies filled more than 199,000 “prescriptions” across the state, which is about five times the number filled at this time last year.

The figures indicate the state’s nine pharmacies are doing millions of dollars in sales each quarter, according to the newspaper.

The increase in patients is attributed to changes in Louisiana’s medical marijuana law that permit smokable flower products and make it easier for doctors to recommend cannabis to patients.

Of the seven pharmacies eligible to expand, only H&W Drug Store in the New Orleans region has submitted paperwork to apply for its satellite location, in Metairie.

Several other pharmacy owners said they plan to open their satellite shops in the coming months.

In a separate development, Louisiana’s Pharmacy Board will go through a bid process for a second MMJ pharmacy licensee in the New Orleans region, according to The Times-Picayune.

Lawmakers and the state’s governor approved a second licensee for the New Orleans region earlier this summer, according to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.

The New Orleans region would be the only one with two licensees.

The number of licensed pharmacies in Louisiana might be growing, but the state has only two licensed medical marijuana growers.