H&W is the only authorized dispensary in area serving serving Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes

After serving the Greater New Orleans area for more than 50 years, Black owned H & W Drug Store has expanded by opening a third location that offers medical marijuana to patients who have an existing recommendation by a licensed physician.

H & W Dispensary will open to the public on Monday, Aug. 12 for qualifying patients who experience conditions like autism, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Pharmacists can dispense marijuana in pills, oils, liquids or as an inhaler, but not in smokeable form.

Ruston Henry, owner of H & W Dispensary.

H&W Drug Store is the oldest Black-owned pharmacy in New Orleans. Opened more than 50 years ago by Wesley J. Watkins and Sterling Henry, Sr., the father of current owner Ruston Henry, who took over the business in 1999. 

Located at 4718 Paris Ave. in the Oak Park Shopping Center, the dispensary is the first and only authorized marijuana dispensary in the region serving Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

In April 2018, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy selected H&W Drug Store to get one of ten permits to dispense medical marijuana. Eight more regions are spread out throughout the state and the tenth permit is reserved for future use.

Medical marijuana dispensaries were approved by the 2016 Louisiana Legislature.  The Board of Pharmacy narrowed down the selection list to the top five pharmacies in each region. In what’s been called a surprise vote, H&W Drug Store ranked third but beat out the first and second ranked pharmacies.

“We are excited to release this product to assist many patients and improve their quality of life,” says H & W Dispensary owner Ruston Henry.

Although marijuana is banned at the federal level, states have the right to create medical marijuana programs which cannot be interfered with by the Justice Department.

The H & W Medical Marijuana Dispensary is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

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