New cannabis business takes over Louisiana MMJ grower contract

Women, minority execs show few gains in U.S. cannabis industry, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

Pennsylvania-based Ilera Holistic Healthcare is taking over the contract to grow medical marijuana on behalf of Louisiana’s Southern University for the state’s MMJ program.

Shreveport TV station KTBS reported that the company with the initial contract – Advanced Biomedics – never became operational because of disputes between the owners.

Ilera bought the 68% stake in Advanced Biomedics that was held by a Louisiana businessman. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Ilera paid Southern $2.15 million – the initial installment of more than $6 million in payments the university is slated to get from Advanced Biomedics, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported.

The newspaper also reported that Ilera plans to buy a 40-acre parcel of land in north Baton Rouge, adjacent to an existing Southern University AgCenter facility.

The company plans to build a temporary facility there to get MMJ on store shelves in the “early second quarter” of 2019, according to The Advocate. It eventually plans to construct a permanent facility after securing approval from state regulators.

Louisiana’s other MMJ grower, GB Sciences, is cultivating cannabis on behalf of Louisiana State University.