Orlando F. McMeans, Ph.D., Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences spoke to members of the Baton Rouge Press Club during the club’s weekly meeting on Feb. 10.
The main topic for discussion during the meeting was the Ag Center’s Medical Marijuana Program.
“We will be harvesting in the next week or so,” said McMeans about the Center’s first medical marijuana crop. The harvesting date is pending final approval by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Department of Health. After testing is conducted on the crop, products are expected to be available in dispensaries.
“When you do something for the first time and you have these strict guidelines that are overseen by so many different agencies, every step has to be approved,” said McMeans. “We want to make sure we follow the necessary steps to produce a quality product.”
McMeans explained that the Center plans to do more than just produce medical marijuana but also conduct research on developing new varieties of marijuana to target specific ailments.
McMeans also discussed the Center’s research into hemp and the recent ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the Center’s hemp-derived CBD product line, Alafia Healthcare, with partner Ilera Holistic Healthcare.
This makes Southern University the first historically Black college or university to launch a CBD line.
He also shared information on upcoming academic student support that will be implemented within the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences; increasing the Ag Center’s Cooperative Extension footprint within the state; and seeking resources to enhance and grow the programs and services of the Ag Center and the College.
McMeans’ speech is available in its entirety on the Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Youtube channel.
By LaKeeshia Lusk