The Southern University Ag Center will hold a mandatory pre-bid conference Friday for potential vendors interested in becoming a cultivation and production facility operator for its medical marijuana program.

The agcenter said in a press release late Thursday that the conference will be held at 10 a.m. in the SU Ag Center, 181 B.A. Little Drive, in Baton Rouge.

Information is available from Janana Snowden, director of the Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants, at (225) 771-2242.

Southern has estimated the initial investment for its program at $5 million to $7 million. The facility operator contract will run for five years.

Southern and LSU hold the state's only licenses for medical marijuana. Both schools are seeking private investors to establish the greenhouse, labs and manufacturing facilities needed to produce the medication. Under state law, the medication must be in a liquid, capsules or pills, chewables, topical applications, trans-dermal patches or suppositories.