First New Orleans area medical marijuana pharmacy will be in Gentilly

First New Orleans area medical marijuana pharmacy will be in Gentilly
A marijuana conference is being held in New Orleans. (FOX 8)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans will be the home of one of the state's first medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Louisiana Pharmacy awarded the permit Tuesday to H&W Drugstore, Inc. at 4718 Paris Ave. in Gentilly near Dillard.

Permits to sell medical marijuana, which can't be sold in any form that can be smoked, are being awarded to nine healthcare regions across the state.

Four of the regions were chosen Tuesday, the other five will be selected on Wednesday.

New Orleans is in region one. Four other pharmacies were also being considered.

H&W Pharmacy Owner Ruston Henry said he was granted the license because of his family's experience in the community.

"What happened with the board is they evaluated the proposal, they evaluated the company, and they seen that we're the front runners. They say hey man, this company has been in business for over 50 years in the New Orleans community. They looked at our proposal, they looked at our presentation and they reconsidered and they said hey, we're gonna go with H & W Drug Store," Pharmacist Ruston Henry said.

He adds there will be high security including a guard and cameras at the dispensary.

The products will come from Southern University and Louisiana State University. The two schools are the only agricultural centers allowed to legally grow medical marijuana.

H&W Drug Store was started in the lower 9th ward in 1963 by Sterling J. Henry and Wesley J. Watkins at 5525 N. Galvez. The pharmacy has moved several times since then, including after Hurricane Katrina.

Henry said their next steps are to start renovations at the site.