Marijuana is gaining acceptance across the United States. It is currently legal for recreational use in eight states and the District of Columbia. Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 22 states including Louisiana.

There are still several questions that many of us have about the way the drug will be dispensed and prescribed in Louisiana. For example, who can prescribe (recommend) the drug? What conditions will the drug be prescribed to treat? What pharmacies will carry the drug? In what form will the drug be dispensed?

Here's what we found out.

The Louisiana Department of Health has established nine regions in the state where a licensed pharmacy has been granted permission to dispense medical marijuana when prescribed by a doctor. In the Lafayette area, that license was awarded to The Apothecary Shoppe. 

That pharmacy will serve the needs of patients in Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Mary, St. Landry, and Vermilion Parishes. Louisiana law stipulates that medical marijuana may only be dispensed in the form of pills, topical creams, and oils.

In Lafayette, the license for The Apothecary Shoppe was granted to these individuals. Two of the principal owners are licensed pharmacists and the other is an attorney with a background in the cannabis industry.

Eric Kyle Vidrine a licensed pharmacist and CEO of Professional Arts Pharmacy and founder CEO  of  Palliative Pharmacy Solutions.  Vidrine is a 34% owner of the Apothecary Shoppe.

Brian Ruden is a Colorado Attorney. He created Starbuds brand. Starbuds has eight retail marijuana dispensaries, a cultivation operation, and manufacturing facility. Ruden is a 30% owner of the Apothecary Shoppe.

David Mayer is a co-owner and chief operating officer for Professional Arts Pharmacy in Lafayette and co-founder and vice-president of Palliative Pharmacy Solutions and a principal owner of Institutional Pharmacies of Louisiana. Mayer owns 26% of the business.

As you can see the individuals who will be responsible for the dispensing of medical marijuana in the Acadiana area have the background, the experience, and have been operating in the community for decades.

The information for this report was obtained through the license applications and was compiled in a report published on NOLA.com. That article also contains similar information on the principles in the other licensed medical marijuana pharmacies across the state.