Southern University unveils line of THC-based medical marijuana products, marking historic launch among HBCUs

Southern University unveils line of THC-based medical marijuana products, marking historic launch among HBCUs
The new product line, AYO, is scientifically formulated, lab-tested, pesticide-free, and only available in Louisiana, university officials said. The name Ayo translates to “joy” in the Yoruba language. (Source: Southern University)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Southern University’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center on Wednesday, July 1 unveiled a line of THC-derived medical marijuana products that will be available across Louisiana.

The new product line, AYO, is scientifically formulated, lab-tested, pesticide-free, and only available in Louisiana, university officials said.

The name Ayo translates to “joy” in the Yoruba language.

Through its partner, Ilera Holistic Healthcare, the university will distribute its products in pharmacies across the state.

University officials said Southern is first among Historically Black Colleges Universities (HBCUs) to offer both a line of THC-derived and hemp-derived CBD medical marijuana products available across Louisiana.

The university reported it was first among HBCUs to launch a hemp-based CBD product line in January of 2020.

That previously-released product is sold under the name ALAFIA.

ALAFIA translates to “inner peace” in Yoruba.

ALAFIA will be available online nationwide later in the summer.

The product is authorized through legislation passed in Louisiana in 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act, which allows hemp-derived CBD to be sold in all 50 U.S. states.

A law passed more recently, in June, allows any Louisiana doctor who is in good standing with the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to recommend marijuana as a treatment for conditions considered debilitating.

That is a significant expansion from previous law which allowed medical marijuana products as a treatment for a list of 16 conditions. That old law also limited the number of healthcare professionals who were able to recommend therapeutic cannabis to certain specialists.

The new law takes effect in August of 2020.

Louisiana law does not allow medical marijuana to be sold in a smokable form.

The acceptable forms are oils, extracts, tinctures, sprays, capsules, pills, solutions, suspension, gelatin-based chewables, lotions, transdermal patches, and suppositories.

The state is only able to have ten licensed pharmacies selling product at a time. So far, nine pharmacies are licensed. Locations are included below.

  • H&W Drug Store: 1667 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans
  • Capitol Wellness Solutions: 7491 Picardy Ave., Baton Rouge
  • Green Leaf Dispensary: 6048 W Park Ave., Houma
  • The Apothecary Shoppe: 620 Guilbeau Rd., Suite A, Lafayette
  • Medicis: 1727 Imperial Blvd., Building 4, Lake Charles
  • The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy: 403 Bolton Ave., Alexandria
  • Hope Pharmacy: 1410 Kings Hwy., Suite A, Shreveport
  • Delta Medmar: 111 McMillan Road, West Monroe
  • Willow Pharmacy: 1519 Hwy. 22 West, Suite 5, Madisonville

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