LSU: Medical marijuana available next summer, at earliest

FILE - In this May 5, 2015, file photo, a marijuana plant grows at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. A southeastern Illinois company says it has started growing medical marijuana and may be the first in the state to do so. Officials at Ataraxia in the Edwards County city of Albion, Ill., said Monday, July 13, 2015 that they received state authorization July 10, and have started cultivating the genetic strains that will be the basis of their products. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
FILE - In this May 5, 2015, file photo, a marijuana plant grows at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. A southeastern Illinois company says it has started growing medical marijuana and may be the first in the state to do so. Officials at Ataraxia in the Edwards County city of Albion, Ill., said Monday, July 13, 2015 that they received state authorization July 10, and have started cultivating the genetic strains that will be the basis of their products. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The head of LSU’s planned medical marijuana growing operation says patients seeking the drug likely won’t have access until next summer at the earliest.

Bill Richardson, LSU’s vice president for agriculture, led an AgCenter forum Friday to update the public – including potential contractors and business partners – about plans to start growing the medicinal plant.

The university isn’t using state funds to produce medical marijuana, so the AgCenter is looking for outside investors to subcontract with LSU. Richardson hopes to put out the request for contracting proposals within a month.

Richardson again assured the public he’s working on security plans for the planned facility in East Baton Rouge Parish, not on LSU’s campus.

Southern University is Louisiana’s only other authorized medical marijuana grower, and also in the planning stages.

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