Southern University is making history as the first historically black college or university to join the legal marijuana industry.
The university and Ilera Holistic Healthcare have teamed up to create a brand new CBD oil for Louisiana residents.
Its locally grown, hemp-derived oil named ALAFIA can now be legally purchased over the counter at eight licensed pharmacies in the state and is available nationwide for sale and distribution.
ALAFIA translates to ‘inner peace’ from the Yoruba language spoken in West Africa.
President of the Southern University System Ray L. Belton said: “This is an exciting time for healthcare and business here in the state of Louisiana, and Southern University is honored to be a part of it all. Southern has been a leader in agriculture and the sciences for 140 years while staying true to its mission of access.
“This CBD venture with Ilera encompasses all of that. We look forward to advancing this vision and serving as a model for other universities.”
Leaders from both the university and Ilera held a press conference and ribbon cutting at H&W Drug Store Dispensary in New Orleans to celebrate the product’s launch and see its first sale.
It is hoped the partnership will provide students and residents of the state with the chance to learn more about CBD and health: whether for anxiety, bad skin, metabolic issues, stress, or even pregnancy symptoms.
Janana Snowden, executive director of the university’s Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants, said: “Our overall goals are to continue providing experiential learning opportunities for our students who plan to enter into this rapidly evolving industry and to also provide education to the constituents of Louisiana in efforts to destigmatize this medical plant.”
Alafia is lab-tested and regulated by Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control (LATC).
LATC Commissioner Juana Marine-Lombard said: “Since July, ATC has licensed almost 1,500 retailers and wholesalers in the state and until recently these wholesalers had to go out of state to purchase their products.
“So everything that has been on the shelves in Louisiana for the last couple of weeks have come from Colorado or California so I as a commissioner am so excited to have two universities producing.”
Both isolate and full-spectrum formulas, which can be taken in microdoses, are available for purchase in concentrations of 500mg and 1000mg. The oils come in natural vanilla and natural blackberry flavors. Additional CBD products are set for release in the near future, according to the university.
CBD products have become increasingly popular since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, with a range of vapes, oils, creams, gels, extracts, and even pet products now on sale.
Although marijuana remains illegal for recreational use across many states, CBD is leading the way to a more open-minded perspective on cannabis products.
Osagie Imasogie, chairman of Ilera Holistic Healthcare, said: “We are excited about the launch of ALAFIA.
“Our team created a superior hemp-derived product with patients in mind. We are proud of this partnership with Southern and look forward to announcing the next phase of this groundbreaking rollout.”
A 500mg bottle of either product costs $40; a 1000mg bottle costs $80.
Chanda Macias, chief executive officer of Ilera Holistic Healthcare, spoke of the importance of making the product accessible.
She said: “Our vision has always been patient access and affordability. It was imperative for us to bring high-quality products that support health and wellness. Patients now have the ability to purchase ALAFIA over the counter without a prescription anywhere it is available.”
To learn more about ALAFIA, visit their website.