LA: Pharmacist Couple Shares Plans For Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Photo Credit: ArkLatex

Shreveport’s first medical cannabis dispensary is on track to open by the end of this year. It will be operated by a husband and wife team who met in pharmacy school and have been working together ever since. They said they’re goal is just to help patients.

Working from behind a window for all the patients to see, Jennifer Boudreaux said they’ve built their compounding pharmacy from the ground-up. Her husband Doug started out with just a countertop table at another pharmacy before opening Boudreaux’s Specialty Compounding in 1999. She said they see people everyday who’ve taken traditional medications which ultimately failed. She said the patients they see are ones who are on their last rope as far as conventional therapies.

“We get lots of calls from hospice nurses and doctors. You want to make that transition for the family as easy as possible. We see that everyday so it would be nice to throw something in there to maybe make someone comfortable,” said Jennifer Boudreaux, owner of Boudreaux’s Specialty Compounding Pharmacy.

They said they were originally approached by local cancer doctors looking for alternative methods to treat patient’s pain. So right across from the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, they’ll transform the old Captain D’s restaurant on Kings Highway into the first medical cannabis dispensary.

“We’re two people who care about patients. We’ve been around for a very long time and the only reason we’re doing this right  now is to help our patient population. Our hospice population,” said Doug Boudreaux, owner of Boudreaux’s Specialty Compounding Pharmacy.

Doug said the medical cannabis will only be available at their dispensary location. It will only come in oil form and stored in a special safe for security.

“We can maintain safety and security without making patients feel left out of the human touch,” Jennifer said.

They said they did not get into this to make money but to help people. Jennifer said similar to starting their first business, they know there will be struggles ahead. Doug said it’s riskier than people may initially think, especially since the price of selling medical cannabis to patients has not be set yet.

“We think this is going to be a very risky venture. I don’t see it as a high profit center for the first three years. As a matter of fact, we don’t know how much it’s going to cost to buy it,” Doug said.

Only patients with approved conditions can access it, but two bills going through the legislature would expand it for both autism and therapeutic use.

HB 579 covers therapeutic use and HB 627 allows people with autism to access a prescription. Both bills passed the House and now are pending in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

The Boudreaux’s said they plan to open the dispensary by September. Under the state board’s requirements they have ten months to open before facing fines. They’ll still need approval by the Metropolitan Planning Commission, City and Parish. So they’re hoping the process can be fast-tracked.

Jennifer and Doug said they’re excited to have another tool in their toolbox to help local patients.