All forms of cannabis are considered illegal in Louisiana. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2016 signed Senate Bill 271, a bill that at the time made Louisiana the first state in the Southeastern U.S. to create a comprehensive medical cannabis program, but the state has delayed implementation several times due to legislative changes, supply availability, and a lack of testing laboratories. The new law replaced language in the medical marijuana law that stated that physicians must “prescribe” medical marijuana to patients, which was impossible because it is considered as a Schedule I drug under federal law. Physicians can only recommend cannabis to a patient.
The law mandates that medical marijuana must be produced by a single cultivator and distributed to patients through up to 10 pharmacies. Edwards in June signed HB 579 and HB 627, which expanded the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
The Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners in September 2018 eliminated a patient limit rule that limited Louisiana doctors licensed under the state’s medical marijuana program to 100 patients.
The board also agreed to remove a restriction that would have required patients to see their doctor every 90 days in order to renew their order for medical cannabis.
Patients, caregivers, a parent, or guardian of a minor in possession of medical marijuana are protected from prosecution for the possession or distribution of marijuana. Physicians licensed by the Louisiana State Medical Board and who reside in Louisiana may recommend medical marijuana to patients clinically diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, to be determined by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.
Researchers at GB Sciences and the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter announced in October they finished harvesting the state’s first medical marijuana crop, but procedural issues could prevent patients from getting access to the medicine in a timely fashion.
Where is it safe to purchase & consume?
The state’s first marijuana crop was planted in August 2018 in a temporary pod constructed with the goal of getting some product on the shelves by early November 2018. However, the state has pushed back sales due to a lack of independent testing facilities.
to Be to Consume?
- Cachexia, or wasting disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- HIV / AIDS
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe spasms
- Spastic quadriplegia
Medical Marijuana Registry Application Process
An application process hasn’t yet been established. However, patients, caregivers, or a parent or guardian of a minor in possession of medical marijuana are protected from prosecution for the possession or distribution of marijuana. Physicians licensed by the Louisiana State Medical Board and who reside in Louisiana may recommend medical marijuana to patients clinically diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, to be determined by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.
Required Lab Testing
This page was last updated on November 8, 2018.