LSU AgCenter Therapeutic Cannabis Program

Ashley Mullens

In 2015, the Louisiana Legislature passed the Alison Neustrom Act, which paved the way for the production, recommendation, and use of therapeutic cannabis.

The LSU AgCenter is operating its Therapeutic Cannabis Program under one of the two licenses in Louisiana.

The LSU AgCenter selected GB Sciences Louisiana, LLC., d.b.a. Wellcana, as partner to cultivate and produce therapeutic cannabis products for patients.

In compliance with the Act, medical care providers will oversee patients with debilitating conditions. Patients who have exhausted other medical options without a positive result may be recommended therapeutic cannabis by their practitioner, through specific delivery methods and specified dosages.

The LSU AgCenter continues to work closely with state regulators, including the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to ensure that patient and public safety are at the forefront.

Wellcana began full-scale operation at their production facility in March 2019. The production facility is not located on LSU’s campus and no one under 21 years old will be employed in the facility.

As a public institution of higher education, the LSU AgCenter’s partnership with Wellcana represents a first in the therapeutic cannabis industry.

No taxpayer dollars will be spent on the project.

LSU AgCenter Research

As the licensee, the LSU AgCenter is authorized to conduct research on therapeutic cannabis. The potential for research in both genetics and planting breeding, in addition to extraction, formulation and compounding processes are important elements in the initiative. The LSU AgCenter intends to apply their vast scientific knowledge and experience with existing technologies currently utilized on other agricultural commodities to the cannabis plant. Research will likely include tissue culture propagation, variety development, growth management practices, extraction techniques, compound identification and isolation, drug delivery methods, and efficacy testing.

In addition, the LSU AgCenter has had preliminary discussions with Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Health Science Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport on opportunities for research collaboration. Basic clinical research will be needed to formulate and compound the medicine to target certain disease states as outlined in the law.

Click here to learn more about the LSU AgCenter’s research on therapeutic cannabis.

Patient Information

Wellcana released their first products in August 2019. The initial batch of products includes three formulations of sublingual tinctures in 30-milliliter bottles.

All products are available at the pharmacies licensed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.

Allowable Delivery Methods

  • No raw products
  • Oils, extracts, tinctures or sprays
  • Solid oral dosage forms, e.g., capsules or pills
  • Liquid oral dosage forms, e.g., solutions or suspensions
  • Edible dosage forms (chewable)
  • Topical applications, oils or lotions
  • Transdermal patches
  • Suppositories
  • Metered-dose inhalation

Patient Recommendations

Patients with debilitating medical conditions should discuss medical opportunities with their physicians.

Licensed Pharmacies

Louisiana law limits the number of pharmacies to dispense therapeutic cannabis to ten licenses. Nine of these pharmacies have been selected by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy through an application process. Additional information can be found at

Regulations and Enforcement

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is the regulatory agency for the production licensees. Information on the regulations can be found at or click here for the current rules.

News Releases

LSU AgCenter selected a vendor for medical marijuana

(06/15/17) BATON ROUGE, La. — 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.

Agriculture and Medicine

While Louisiana has had legislation since the late 1970s regarding medical marijuana, the lack of enabling rules and regulations prevented patient access until the passage of Senate Bill 143 in 2015. Sen. Fred Mills, of Breaux Bridge, authored the legislation, paving the way for the production, recommendation and use of medical marijuana. The act (La R.S. 40:1046) became known as the Alison Neustrom Act, in honor of Dr. Alison Neustrom, of Lafayette, who was an advocate for medical marijuana. At 42, Dr. Neustrom passed away from aggressive pancreatic cancer.

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.

The Louisiana Law for 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:

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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture