LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– If the traditional way of treating certain illnesses aren’t working for you, medical marijuana may be another option.

Lafayette’s first and only medical marijuana pharmacy is offering patients options to treat their pain, anxiety and other illnesses in a non-traditional but safe way.

“Our rule of thumb is start slow and go slow,” Blair Vidrine, chief operation officer of the Apothecary Shoppe said.

Medical marijuana is a taboo topic that’s becoming more accepted.Vidrine said they service patients of all ages.

“Not one particular demographic. All across the spectrum,” Vidrine said.

Vidrine said medical marijuana is different from recreational marijuana in how it’s tested. The patient is also required to have a doctor’s recommendation in order to receive the product.

“Medical marijuana is a great option for people who have tried and failed,” Vidrine said. “It is a really good alternative.”

Vidrine said after the patient is cleared by their physician, pharmacists at the business then provide the medical marijuana product based on the patient’s needs.

“We have products that are low in THC,” Vidrine said. “It really allows us to tailor the specifics of the patient.”

Patients can choose from a variety of medicinal marijuana forms like tentures, gummies, vape products, topicals, smoking and honey. Vidrine said all options are safe options.

“We are an actual pharmacy with trained staff and patients,” Vidrine said. “It gives us a lot of credibility.”

The shop opened in 2019. Community members and health care officials  were skeptical about the idea of a medical marijuana pharmacy coming to Acadiana. Vidrine said now it’s widely accepted.

“We were met with resistance; fast forward four years later, we have those same people asking us for advice,” Vidrine said.

Right now there are two Apothecary Shoppes. The original shop in Lafayette and a new shop in New Iberia. Vidrine said within the next few years, they plan to move to a larger facility for the Lafayette location and open a third location in Opelousas.