BATON ROUGE — Nearly a year after medical marijuana went from seed to shelves at nine pharmacies in Louisiana, there is a second player in a market that’s about to get a larger pool of patients suffering from a wide-open range of medical conditions.
Southern University medical marijuana licensee Ilera Holistic Healthcare shipped out its first tinctures and topical creams to pharmacies this month, joining LSU licensee Wellcana Group, which put its first tinctures on shelves last August.
Within two weeks of Wellcana hitting the retail market last year, nearly 5,000 patients entered the program, with 1,500 receiving the drug at prices between $80 and $200 to treat only about a dozen medical conditions.
Ilera is adding competition to a market in which the pharmacies have struggled with high wholesale prices and slim profit margins, while patients have complained about an unaffordable therapy that’s held back its use.
“There are a lot of Louisiana medcard patients who have tried the medicine, but the reason they weren’t continuing was the price,” H&W Dispensary owner Henry Ruston said after dropping prices.
Medical marijuana tinctures at H&W Dispensary were priced between…..