about medical marijuana
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This is How You Will Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana
The Status of Cannabis Legalization in Louisiana
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.
- Cachexia, or wasting disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- HIV / AIDS
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe spasms
- Spastic quadriplegia
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.
One pharmacy will operate in each of the nine regions of the state established by the Louisiana Department of Health. Louisiana law prohibits marijuana from being sold in any form that can be smoked. The forms sold at state-permitted pharmacies will include pills, topical creams and oils and can only be dispensed to patients with a doctor’s recommendation form.