- Associated Press - Monday, April 8, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s agriculture and forestry commissioner has drawn his first announced challenger for the fall election, an opponent slamming his management of medical marijuana.

Charlie Greer ran unsuccessfully four years ago against Republican Commissioner Mike Strain and announced Monday he’ll again oppose Strain on the Oct. 12 ballot.

Greer is a Democrat from Natchitoches (NAK’-a-dish) Parish and a farmer who worked in the Department of Agriculture and Forestry for 20 years before retiring in 2013.

In his announcement, Greer criticizes Strain for his regulation of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program. Though lawmakers approved a dispensing framework for cannabis nearly four years ago, medical marijuana still hasn’t reached patients.

Greer says the commissioner created unnecessary roadblocks and he’d work to lessen bureaucracy.

Strain has defended his approach, saying the regulations ensure public safety.

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