Louisiana expected to begin growing medical cannabis Aug. 17

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Louisiana’s first legal crop of medical marijuana can be planted this week.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, whose agency regulates the state’s burgeoning industry, loosened a regulatory logjam that created a monthslong delay.

Strain’s team met with Louisiana State University AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson and the head of the school’s marijuana contractor, GB Sciences Louisiana, to clear the path for production, the Monroe News-Star reported.

Strain expects to give GB Sciences a “temporary go-ahead” after a final inspection Aug. 16.

The crop could then be planted in a temporary portion of the growing facility, dubbed a turnkey “exterior pod,” which GB Sciences built to expedite the approval process.

The product will be contained in that pod from germination until it’s packaged.

GB Sciences President John Davis says the company expects to plant a crop Aug. 17.

Davis said marijuana takes about three months to mature, so the first product isn’t expected to be available to patients until November – months later than originally projected.

Medical cannabis can be recommended only in pill or oil form the way the current law is written.

– Associated Press