Best Buds

admin Friday, February 11, 2022 Comments Off on Best Buds
Best Buds


On Jan. 1, 2022, the state of Louisiana entered a new chapter in their medical cannabis program. Flower is now a permissible form of medical marijuana in the state, and it’s now available in the nine medical marijuana pharmacies across the state. 

House Bill 391, passed on June 21, 2021, made it legal for cannabis pharmacies to sell the traditional, smokable, flower form of marijuana. Patients have been waiting for this for some time.

Otherwise known as bud, flower consists of the green flowers that populate the female plant, forming tight, dense nuggets. Trichromes are the hairlike growths that appear on cannabis buds and give it a frosty appearance.

This traditional form of medication can be consumed in a variety of ways, with smoking or vaping being the most common way to medicate, but it can also be incorporated in edibles.

The state’s two growing facilities each had product available to the pharmacies on Jan. 1, with bulk amounts of each cannabis strain provided along with bags for the pharmacies, who were to bag their own product. For many working in these pharmacies, this was a first, and procedures were quickly created to address these new challenges to the burgeoning program. 

At launch, three strains were made available to patients. Wellcana, partnered with LSU AgCenter, produced Mandarin ZkittleZ and Grease Monkey, both Indica-dominant hybrid strains that may relieve chronic pain, stress, nausea, inflammation and other conditions. Ilera, partnered with Southern AgCenter, offered Mandarin Cookies, a Sativa-dominant strain, which can be helpful with ADHD/ADD, fatigue and depression. 

After the first week, Ilera delivered another strain, Chem OG, another Sativa-dominant hybrid that could help with stress, pain, and depression. 

On opening day, lines were long, and patients waited to get their recommendations fulfilled. Online ordering for many of the pharmacies was made available last month, so the addition of the new medication went live on the online stores to try and help the wave of demand. To keep up with demand, online ordering of flower was paused frequently to allow for the pharmacies to catch up. As expected, supplies ran out in the first week, with the promise of more product and additional variety from the two growers to come in the weeks ahead. 

As the medical cannabis program matures, it is expected that quality will improve, supply will increase, price will decrease, and the growers will eventually send the product pre-packaged and ready for sale.

“Now that cannabis flower is available for patients at the pharmacies, we expect to see much wider adoption and an overall increase in patients,” stated Dr. John Condos, owner of Medicis Pharmacy in Lake Charles.

While other forms of medical cannabis have been available in the state of Louisiana since 2019 like tinctures, topicals, and distillates, the addition of flower as an available type of medication is crucial to the program gaining traction. “We’ve been helping people with what we had available and the results have been extremely positive,” said James Thibodeaux, head pharmacist of Medicis Pharmacy. “But the question everyone has been asking is “when is flower coming?” Now that it’s here, we’re eager to see how effective this new form of medication can be.”

Initial demand for the product has been expectedly high and while systems and processes have been put in place, much improvement is expected.

Systems like online ordering have helped some, but many things can be improved upon. “As the medical cannabis program matures in our state, we anticipate the wrinkles will be smoothed out with pricing, packaging, and product availability,” said Condos. “We’ve seen similar growing pains in other states and look forward to seeing things develop in Louisiana.”

Comments are closed.