BATON ROUGE (AP) — Tulane University, former NFL player Steve Gleason, the Louisiana Democratic Party chair and a former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department are among those vying for Louisiana's coveted tenth medical marijuana pharmacy license.
In total, 28 applicants are bidding for the New Orleans area license, which grants access to an exclusive club of businesses selling legal marijuana, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported Friday. The permit will be the first new one granted since medical marijuana sales began in Louisiana in 2019.
The list of high-profile applicants also include a former judge, lobbyist and trial attorneys — reflecting the increasingly mainstream status of Louisiana's exploding medical marijuana market.
The state's tightly controlled medical marijuana program has loosened over time. Recently, in 2021 the legislature passed a bill that allows medical marijuana to be sold in its raw, smokable form — instead of solely liquids, topical applications, inhalers and edible gummies.
Each of the state's nine regions has one dispensary. The tenth license in New Orleans is an exception, as legislation called for an additional one in the most populous area.
A selection committee will rank applicants in November before the Pharmacy Board grants one of them a license, likely before the end of the year.