Women and minorities encouraged to join Louisiana Medical Marijuana industry
BATON ROUGE- One industry advocacy group attending the country's largest marijuana business convention in New Orleans this week held a presentation in the capital city Tuesday night. The group, Women Grow, encourages women and minorities to become leaders in the emerging industry.
"We want them to have an equal opportunity to become the next billionaires in this industry," said Chanda Macias, the group's chairperson and a dispensary owner from Washington D.C.
The industry group hopes to bolster public support for Louisiana's emerging cannabis oil business. The product contains little to no THC and will treat a small number of disease sets, something state lawmakers are already considering to expand.
Macias encourages women and minorities to explore careers opportunities in or related to the field.
"The businesses we are looking at right now are auxiliary businesses. So if you're an accountant, how can you pivot that into accounting for cannabis? If you do packaging, what does that look like for the local dispensaries who need to outsource that work?" she said.
The chief beneficiaries of the industry are LSU and Southern University, both of which have staggered from years of state budget cuts. The two will be the first public universities in the country to conduct medical marijuana research.
The controlled and accelerated growing techniques used in the process could be applied to other agricultural crops, according to university officials. This expands the potential research investment.
LSU hopes to have its growery in south Baton Rouge producing by the summer.
Southern University recently hit a snag with its growery investor, Advanced Biomedics LLC, based in Lafayette. One of the company's partners is suing the other over promised funding that never came through.
Southern University officials say if the matter is not resolved by the close of business Thursday, they will move forward with another investor. The university plans to locate its growery off Scenic Highway near the border between Baker and Zachary with product ready by next year.