New Orleans pharmacist Ruston Henry of H&W Drugstore, Inc. obtained his permit to be one of the first medical marijuana pharmacies in Louisiana.
H&W Drug Store was selected on Tuesday by the state Pharmacy Board.
After many hours of testimonies by five competing pharmacies interested in the permit for Region 1, which includes New Orleans area, H&W Drug Store won. The decision was made after a two-hour meeting.
Another pharmacy, the Rx Greenhouse, was a leading candidate, but a few of the committee members were concerned about its location being near an indoor playground area.
Henry, a second generation pharmacist, urged the board to consider his business longevity, organizational stability, his unblemished record and local heritage. He also highlighted that his location was near other retail stores and close to the interstate sharing a parking lot with NOPD substation.
His testimony was sufficient to encourage a 9-0 vote from the board, although he was initially ranked fourth out of five applicants by the subcommittee.
“Our location is shared with NOPD, you can’t get any safer than that.”
“We are the safe bet . . . and we will not let you all down.”
Region 1, which H&W Drugstore will be operating in, includes Jefferson, New Orleans, and St. Bernard parishes.
The board is expected to give permits for other regions. On Wednesday, regions 5-9 will be upon.
The selling of marijuana in any form that can be smoked is prohibited by Louisiana law.
The pharmacies will sell cannabis-based pills, topical creams, and oils, and can only be dispensed to patients with a doctor’s recommendation form.