Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
What You Need To Know
- 1There are 9 dispensaries licensed for operation in the state of Louisiana
The Louisiana Pharmacy Board has issued nine permits to companies that will operate the state's first medical marijuana pharmacies. The 17-member board is mandated by state law to oversee the marijuana dispensaries. One pharmacy will operate in each of the nine regions of the state established by the Louisiana Department of Health.
- 2Medical marijuana will be available in a smokeable form in 2022
Previously, Louisiana law prohibited marijuana from being sold in any form that can be smoked. A new law recently passed lets patients buy up to two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana flower every two weeks from the state’s licensed pharmacies. This takes effect on January 1, 2022. Previously, patients only had access to certain non-smokable forms of the drug, like tinctures, topicals, edibles and inhalers.
- 3Medical marijuana is only available with a recommendation from a licensed doctor
Any physician with Schedule 1 privileges can issue recommendations for medical cannabis as a treatment option to their patients. Doctors will issue “recommendations” as opposed to prescriptions, an effort to protect physicians from putting their medical licenses in jeopardy because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
- 4Medical marijuana can be recommended for ANY condition deemed debilitating
As of August 1, 2020, physicians can now recommend medical cannabis for any condition that they consider debilitating to their patient.
- 5Why is is called a recommendation?
A controlled substance under federal guidelines, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug, making it technically illegal under federal law. Thus far, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use and nine states have legalized it for recreational use. In states where marijuana is legal, doctors are technically not allowed to "prescribe" it since it is a controlled substance. They are, however, allowed to "recommend" it.
Become a Medical Marijuana Patient
To become a patient in Louisiana, you must follow certain steps and meet particular requirements for eligibility.
You must be a resident of Louisiana to be eligible for medical marijuana in Louisiana. Be sure you have a valid state ID.
You must suffer from ANY condition that your doctor deems debilitating for treatment with medical marijuana in Louisiana.
You must obtain a recommendation from a doctor in the state of Louisiana that has Schedule 1 privileges.