Thursday, February 23

SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus hosts Town Hall on Medical Marijuana Program

Dr. Bobby R. Phills, Chancellor-Dean of The Land-Grant Campus, speaks during the campus's Medical Marijuana Town Hall meeting  on  Feb. 23 at the SU Ag Center.

Rani Whitfield, M.D., speaks about the benefits of Medical Marijuana at the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus's Town Hall Meeting on Feb. 23.

The Southern University Land-Grant Campus - consisting of the SU Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences – held an informational Medical Marijuana Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the SU Ag Center.

Attorney Winston Decuire, Jr. provided the community and potential vendors with an overview of the law which authorizes licensed physicians to recommend medicinal treatment for ten debilitating medical conditions. These conditions include Cancer, HIV, AIDS, Cachexia/Wasting syndrome, Seizure disorders, Epilepsy, Spasticity, Crohn’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis.

The law also stipulates that the plant must be developed into pharmaceutical grade medicines such as oils, pills, powders, gelatin-based chewables and other non-inhalable forms.

During the meeting Rani Whitfield, M.D., spoke about a five-year-old girl from Colorado named Charlotte, who suffered from Epilepticus and Autism along with several other health complications. There was no mediation that could control Charlotte’s seizures and she relied on a feeding tube for nourishment. After 20 months of receiving low doses of marijuana plant extract, Charlotte was able to feed herself by mouth and her autistic behaviors improved.

Dr. Janana Snowden, director of the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants, stated that the University is planning to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Solicitation for Offers (SFO) in mid-March, with a 30-45 day application period. The University also plans to select a single vendor to contract with by mid to late summer.

The University has also identified undeveloped land at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s Experiment Station in Baker, La., as the location of the facility. This site is located off the campus and students will not be involved in the growing or processing of the cannabis component. The vendor will be required to make an investment of $5-7 million and must be able to conduct a seed to sale operation.
Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby R. Phills expressed his desire for the Land-Grant Campus to help educate the community.

“This Medical Marijuana Program will give us the ability to reach out into the community and provide some help by making medicine for debilitating medical conditions. We will also conduct research on other medicinal plants through the Southern Institute of Medicinal Plants,” said Phills.

For additional information, contact Dr. Snowden or LaKeeshia Lusk at 225-771-2242.


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