Southern University has officially selected Lafayette based Advanced Biomedics, LLC as the University’s medical marijuana cultivation and production facility operator.

The University’s Board of Supervisors voted for the decision during a board meeting on September 22, 2017.

“Today the board has voted to affirm the work invested by the Ag Center and the Medical Marijuana Review Committee to select a vendor for our historic medical marijuana initiative. We are excited about the opportunity to enter into this venture that has the potential to bring health benefits to improve lives and also to build into a successful enterprise for Southern University,” said Chair of the SU Board of Supervisors, Ann A. Smith.

Advanced Biomedics, LLC will produce pharmaceutical grade medicines from marijuana plants, under Southern University’s license, for patients suffering from Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome, Seizure disorders, Epilepsy, Spasticity, Crohn’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis.

“This is a great day for Southern University and HBCUs across the country,” said Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Ag Center and College of Agriculture, Dr. Bobby R. Phills.

This all comes after a 2015 medical law passed by Gov. John Bell Edwards offering to make Southern University Agricultural & Mechanical College & Louisiana State University the only place in Louisiana to legally begin the production of medical marijuana.

LSU selected a vendor a few weeks ago by the name of GB Sciences to grow for and is currently working on contract negotiations according to the school newspaper, The Daily Reveille.

Before Southern starts the process of production of marijuana, the school has devoted their efforts to better educating the public for a thorough understanding of the process and to disband any rumors of how the plant will be researched, cultivated and dispersed.

“Dispelling these myths, telling people what this stuff would actually be used for, and letting them know that we’re serious about this, that it’ll be restricted in how we use it, I think will make the community feel a little bit better,” says Dr. Rani Whitfield of Southern University.

A new Senate Bill, 271 - Act 96 by Senator Mills gave Southern University’s Agricultural Research Center and the LSU’s Agricultural Center the right to first refuse to be licensed for medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana. This law required both Ag Centers to make the determination of whether it would exercise the right to refuse the bill before September 1, 2016.

Since then, Southern University Agricultural Research Center and LSU’s Agricultural Center has submitted a written letter of intent to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry on August 23, 2016 to opt in as a producer of medical marijuana.

SU’s System Foundation will now begin to contract a third party, to help finance and implement this operation. This third party financer would then help the university pay for the hiring of qualified personnel, facility construction, cultivation, extraction, processing, quality assurance and quality control, formulation, distribution and transportation.

According to Southern University’s Agricultural Department, the production of medical marijuana at SUBR would generate much needed revenue to assist in sustainment of operations and existing programs.

Southern University’s Agricultural Center now has plans to construct a high level, secured indoor facility to perform all functions of the operation as required by state law.

The production of medical marijuana will be by a licensed facility only, and could be a temporary venture depending on the results is only permitted until the date of January 1, 2020.

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