LSU AgCenter says $11.3M needed for proposed medical marijuana program

LSU needs at least $11.3 million in capital for a seed-to-sale production facility that will house the operations for its proposed medical marijuana program, according to the business plan from the LSU AgCenter.

In June, the university’s Board of Supervisors approved a resolution allowing the LSU AgCenter to take steps to obtain a license to produce medical marijuana as part of a state initiative. Medical marijuana, in theory, has been legal in Louisiana for decades, but the state never set up a system to make it available.

The Louisiana Legislature gave the LSU and Southern AgCenters the right of first refusal for production of medical marijuana, which would be taken orally in an oil form. Both universities opted into the program, but third party financing is needed.

According to the LSU AgCenter plan, the production facility area, warehouse, laboratory and administration facility will encompass roughly 15,000 to 30,000 square feet as the program evolves. The initial build out would be for 15,000 square feet.

Multiple commercial locations have been identified as potential sites for the facility, though some renovations and retrofitting would be required. That is estimated to cost nearly $6 million.

The LSU AgCenter estimates at least $1.3 million is needed to operate the facility for the first year, while $5.3 million would be needed for a five-year period between 2017 and 2022.

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