Pursuant to Act 261 of the 2015 Legislature and Act 96 of the 2016 Legislature, the Board of Pharmacy completed the rulemaking process to develop a nontransferable specialty license for a pharmacy to dispense marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The Board's Final Rule was published in the August 20, 2017 edition of the Louisiana Register with an immediate effective date.
The enabling legislation placed a limit on the number of marijuana pharmacy permits; no more than ten such permits may be active at the same time. To implement the legislative mandate for an equitable geographic distribution of the marijuana pharmacies across the state, the Board recognizes the nine regions of the state established by the Department of Health, allocating one marijuana pharmacy permit to each region. The nine regions and their associated parishes are identified here:
Solicitation No. 1:
> Date of Issue: August 31, 2017
> Deadline for Applications: 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29, 2017.
> This solicitation invites applications for marijuana pharmacy permits in all nine regions of the state.
> This Solicitation of Applications for Marijuana Pharmacy Permits package contains four documents:
Notice of Intent to Award Marijuana Pharmacy Permits
Application Form for New Louisiana Marijuana Pharmacy Permit
Application Form for Therapeutic Marijuana Designation
Guidance for Applicants & Evaluation Criteria
> The Board's Application Review Committee interviewed all 44 applicants for the 9 pharmacy permits during their meetings on January 25-31, 2018. Following their interviews and deliberations, the committee developed a ranking of the applicants by region. Following the notification of rankings to all applicants in each region, the Board provided an opportunity for any applicant to withdraw its application prior to the Board's consideration of that application during the scheduled administrative hearing. Every applicant was advised the approval of one application for a region would require the denial of all other applications in that region, and further, the denial of an application for a pharmacy permit is considered an adverse licensing action, and further, the Board is required to report all adverse licensing actions to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). Every applicant was further advised the Board would include information about the competitive nature of the application process in any report submitted to the NPDB. Every applicant was further advised that while the Board would not consider any such NPDB report as a negative factor in any future licensing decision, the Board could not speak for any other entity relying on NPDB reports for their decisions.
> Prior to the March 27-28, 2018 administrative hearings, 23 applicants withdrew their applications. The remaining 21 applicants were noticed to appear at specific times on one of the two days. The Chairman of the Application Review Committee presented the committee recommendations to the members of the Board's administrative hearing panel (full Board minus the members of the Application Review Committee, who are excused from futher consideration of these applications) during the meetings. The Board's administrative hearing panel opened hearings for each of the applicants, received the application materials, relevant notices, and other materials and entered them into the hearing record as exhibits. Given the amount of information in the exhibits, the members of the administrative hearing panel then recessed the hearings to review the exhibits.
> The Board will reconvene the marijuana pharmacy permit administrative hearings on April 17-18, 2018. The members of the hearing panel may question the applicants, and will then deliberate and make a determination for each of the 9 regions. The members have 4 options for their decision: (1) They may accept the recommendation from the Application Review Committee; (2) They may select an alternative applicant; (3) They may return all of the applicants to the Application Review Committee for their reconsideration; or (4) They may reject all of the applicants and order an additional solicitation of applications from one or more regions.
> During their April 17-18, 2018 meetings, the Board voted to award the marijuana pharmacy permits for Regions 1 through 9 to the following applicants:
As indicated in the Board's rules for marijuana pharmacies, applicants awarded permits must commence operations of the marijuana pharmacy no later than 310 days after notice of the award of the permit. In the event the marijuana pharmacy has not commenced operation within 310 days after notice of the award, the Board may, in its discretion, rescind the marijuana pharmacy permit unless the delay was unavoidable.
The tenth marijuana pharmacy permit may be issued at a future date not yet designated following a determination of need as indicated by the volume of dispensing transactions in all of the marijuana pharmacies over a period of time not yet defined.
Questions about Solicitation No. 1 not answered by the documents in the Solicitation package or the Final Rule should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.