The only medical marijuana pharmacy currently planned for the Acadiana area could be located on Kaliste Saloom Road or on Guilbeau Road.
According to a report from The Advocate, there is a tie between Acadiana Therapeutic Remedies and The Apothecary Shoppe in Acadiana region, which includes Lafayette, Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes.
Acadiana Therapeutic has partnered with people with backgrounds in medical marijuana, including Helen Cobb, who ran dispensaries in California, and Jacob Irving, founder of LSU Law’s Cannabis Law Society.
The firm has a lease on a space in a strip mall at 1015 Kaliste Saloom Road, which is centrally located to the several of the city’s medical centers.
A host of high-profile elected officials have vouched for the group of physicians behind the company. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, and former Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom wrote letters in support of Dr. Kevin Duplechain, one of the firm’s principals. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, wrote a letter in support of co-owner Dr. Matt Mitchell.
The Apothecary Shoppe would be owned by Eric Vidrine, Brian Ruden, David Mayer and Dr. Brett Casey. Vidrine is the founder and CEO of Professional Arts Pharmacy, a specialty compounding pharmacy in Lafayette; founder and CEO of Palliative Pharmacy Solutions, a Lafayette pharmacy that treats hospice patients; and a principal owner of Institutional Pharmacies of Louisiana, which serve long-term care and institutionalized patients. Ruden is a pioneer in the legal marijuana industry in Colorado and founder of Starbuds, which has eight dispensaries in the state and three more under construction. Mayer is a pharmacist who is co-owner and CEO of Professional Arts Pharmacy, a founder and vice president with Palliative Pharmacy Solutions and co-owner of Institutional Pharmacy Solutions. Casey has been a physician with the Houma Orthopedic Clinic since 2004.
Kevin LaGrange, who has been a compounding pharmacist with Professional Arts since 2001, would be the pharmasist in charge of The Apothecary Shoppe.
The team has letters of support from Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux and Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Garber.
The Apothecary Shoppe has a lease on a space at 620 Guilbeau Road, which had once served as a pharmacy. They estimate it will take six months to build out the property to turn it into a medical marijuana clinic.
The final locations of the first nine medical marijuana pharmacies in Louisiana could be decided during meetings of the state’s Board of Pharmacy later this month. If so, the locations could open within a few months.
A total of ten pharmacies will initially be allowed in the state, including one in each of nine designated regions.