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Southern University's marijuana facility approved for rezoning

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BATON ROUGE - Southern University is one step closer to rezoning a piece of property along Plank Road to make a marijuana production plant, and many businesses in the area support the plan.

All members of the East Baton Rouge Planning Commission approved the rezoning location on Plank Road, but the approval came with an amendment that will allow a barrier of 500 feet to separate residents and the facility. This will allow 2,000 feet of the property to be rezoned.

Late last year, Southern received its first payment for the medical marijuana program from Illera. Now they are on track to build a plant similar to the one overseen by the LSU Ag Center.

Businesses in the area believe that the new addition will bring in economic development.

"I think it would boost the economy in Baker, bring in more taxes that will help stimulate the economic situation here," said Stephanie Nolan, a family nurse practitioner at Primary Care in Baker.

Nolan feels the facility may even help patients like her mother, who suffers from polio—a chronic disease that causes muscle weakness.

"All her life she has used her arms to walk instead of her legs," Nolan said. "The pain medicine has gotten to a point where it doesn't work, and they just want to keep piling more and more on. I think she would benefit from this."

The rezoning will now move to the metro council for further discussion.

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