In 2016, Louisiana became the first of the southeastern states to create a comprehensive medical cannabis program, when Governor John Bel Edwards signed SB 271. Unfortunately, a lack of necessary testing and supply chains, along with changing legislations, made the bill impossible to implement for several years. It wasn’t until August of 2019 that tested and approved marijuana was finally shipped to permitted pharmacies.
LOUISIANA CANNABIS LAWS
THE LEGALIZATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN LOUISIANA
While many patients are interested in the prospect of utilizing medical marijuana in Louisiana, there are still rules and restrictions in place you need to be aware of. For starters, you must submit to medical marijuana evaluation in Louisiana and be diagnosed with a qualifying condition to be approved for a card.
QUALIFYING CONDITIONS UNDER THE LAW INCLUDE:
– Autism spectrum disorders – Cachexia (wasting syndrome) – Cancer – Crohn’s Disease – Epilepsy – Glaucoma – HIV/AIDS – Intractable pain – Multiple Sclerosis – Muscular Dystrophy – Parkinson’s Disease – PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) – Seizure disorders – Severe muscle spasms – Spastic quadriplegia – Spasticity In order to qualify, you must a resident of the state and receive an in-person examination by a marijuana doctor in Louisiana who is permitted to issue a therapeutic marijuana recommendation. Louisiana does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states – you must be a Louisiana resident to purchase and use medical marijuana in the state. In order to conduct a medical marijuana evaluation in Baton Rouge, a physician must reside in the state of Louisiana, must be licensed by the Louisiana State Medical Board (LSMB), and must obtain a permit from the LSMB.
PURCHASING AND CONSUMING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN LOUISIANA
Once you have a recommendation, your medical marijuana doctor in Baton Rouge will forward an order to the nearest of nine licensed and permitted pharmacies operating in the state. Patients and certain caregivers (limited to parents or legal guardians of a minor patient diagnosed with qualifying autism spectrum disorders) may purchase up to a 30-day supply of marijuana, currently available only in tincture form. It is illegal to possess and consume raw/smokable cannabis, it is illegal to cultivate your own cannabis, and it is illegal to consume any form of medical marijuana in public. The state legislature has not yet defined the possession limit of a “30-day supply”, but your doctor or dispensary should be able to clarify based on your particular case.