After years of waiting, patients in Louisiana will finally have access to medical marijuana starting Tuesday after the first batch of tincture bottles are delivered to pharmacies across the state.

Several boxes of medical marijuana tincture were shipped off from GB Sciences’ growing facility, in a former Pepsi distribution center in south Baton Rouge, early Tuesday, for transport to pharmacies.

“You’re making history,” GB Sciences Louisiana President John Davis said as the transport company signed for the first order.

Nine designated pharmacies will sell the medicine to patients who have a recommendation from a doctor. Capitol Wellness Solutions, in Baton Rouge, is hosting an event later Tuesday morning where it will celebrate the first bottles of medicine being handed out to patients.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2015 signed a law that paved the way for the legal growth and dispensing of medical marijuana, making Louisiana the first state in the Deep South to allow for access to the drug.

A year later, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed another bill that set forth the current program, tweaking language to allow doctors to “recommend” the drug to patients, among other things. The legislation ultimately made the drug available to patients, despite lengthy setbacks.

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GB Sciences has clashed with regulators, delaying the release of medical marijuana, while the other licensed grower, Southern University, has seen even more delays and switched contractors last year. 

Medical marijuana was technically legalized in Louisiana in 1991, but there was no framework set up to allow for the legal dispensing of the drug, meaning patients did not have access to it until now.

Check back with the Advocate later in the day for more.

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