The Big Easy is about to pass a major milestone in the ongoing expansion of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program. Thanks to a come from behind victory from the second-generation owner of a father-son pharmacy that’s been in business since the sixties, New Orleans is about to get its first medical marijuana dispensary.
Louisiana Awards Dispensary Permit To New Orleans Pharmacist With Roots In The Community
On Tuesday, the Louisiana Pharmacy Board awarded Ruston Henry, pharmacist and owner of H&W Drug Store, with a permit to operate one of the state’s first ten medical marijuana dispensaries.
Founded in 1961, H&W Drug Store has changed hands and changed locations a couple of times over the years. But the pharmacy has always been a fixture of New Orleans’ 9th Ward, serving the community for over half a century.
Ruston, the son of Sterling J. Henry, took over the family business from his father in 1999. And in a last-ditch effort to win the permit, he appealed to that sense of tradition.
Henry’s testimony certainly worked. Because going into the advisory panel’s discussion, a subcommittee of the Pharmacy Board had ranked H&W Drug Store fourth out of five applicants for Region 1. Region 1 includes New Orleans and neighboring cities.
The board ultimately rejected the subcommittee’s first recommendation, The Rx Greenhouse, because of a poor choice of location that raised concerns among some members. The Rx Greenhouse, which operates another dispensary in Maryland, planned to set up shop in an existing building near an indoor playground area.
Seizing the opportunity, Henry made sure to convey to the board his pharmacy’s long-standing roots in the community. The board voted unanimously, at 9-0, to award the permit to H&W.
Louisiana Will Approve At Least Nine Medical Marijuana Dispensaries This Week
State health officials have divided Louisiana