The LSU AgCenter will pitch its plan to grow the state’s medical marijuana today at a public meeting that will be attended by potential private investors. Chancellor of the LSU AgCenter, Dr. Bill Richardson, says they have about 450 people signed up to come to the meeting.

“This is an opportunity for the LSU AgCenter to tell the public and potential contractors about where we are with the medical marijuana program, what are immediate plans are, where we’re going in the near future,” Richardson said.

LSU and Southern University have agreed to grow medical marijuana in line with the plan that was established by state legislators earlier this year. Richardson says for the plan to work and they need private businesses to assist the AgCenter with the growing, shipping, storing, and securing of the medical cannabis.

“We’re not really necessarily looking for investors as much as we are somebody to contract with us. Now the contractors may have people who invest in their company, there could be a lot of that going on,” Richardson said.

The AgCenter is not using state dollars to finance the growing process. LSU estimates operating the growing facility will cost more than $1 million for the first year, and over $5 million for the next five years. Richardson says it will take just over $11 million total to grow the medical pot.

“We think we’ve got it ball parked in a pretty good area. We hope that we can find a way to do it a little cheaper for anybody that’s really interested in contracting with us, but we had to be realistic about what it will take to do this,” Richardson said.