Louisiana was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1991, but many people may not be aware that the Pelican State has a long history with cannabis medicine. Due to the complexity of legislative language, for decades, physicians were unable to legally “prescribe” marijuana because of federal rules.
Doctors can now suggest medical cannabis to anybody they believe would benefit from it, and obtaining a medical marijuana card in Louisiana is quicker than ever before!
Louisiana is making historic progress in establishing a full medical marijuana program, and the state is closing the book on cannabis reform with dispensaries open and available to qualifying patients.
Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana in Louisiana
Recreational cannabis usage has been against the law in Louisiana for a long time, but lawmakers passed a decriminalization bill in 2021 that has altered how the state sees marijuana possession.
As of August 1st, 2021, having 14 grams or less of marijuana is no longer a crime, and offenders are fined up to $100 rather than being sent to jail.
In Louisiana, carrying over 14 grams, or having 14 grams or less in small amounts that are divided into many portions, is still heavily penalized.
In 1991, Louisiana was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, but because of specific wording that permitted doctors to “prescribe” rather than “recommend” it, physicians were unable to comply with both federal and state laws, leaving medical marijuana underutilized for many years.
Several pieces of drip legislation have been passed since 1991, addressing a variety of elements of the medical marijuana program, such as modifying which qualifying conditions are covered, changing the language from “prescribe” to “recommend,” and removing restrictions on the number of people who may be treated by doctors recommending medical marijuana.
However, in 2020, Louisiana passed its three most significant medical marijuana bills, each of which included provisions to safeguard banks, hospitals, and physicians while expanding the list of qualifying conditions to include any patient a practitioner feels could benefit from cannabis.
The Present Condition of Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
The future of Louisiana cannabis is looking extremely bright, now that the state is augmenting its medical marijuana system to become one of the most comprehensive and accessible in the country.
The current situation in Los Angeles medical marijuana is also excellent, with around 5 dispensaries reported to be operating in Louisiana, home cannabis delivery available, and over 1,000 registered patients already using cannabis.
In the coming months, smokable cannabis flowers will be accessible in Louisiana, which will almost certainly encourage many more individuals to apply for Louisiana medical marijuana cards.
Patients will be able to buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 14 days from licensed dispensaries under HB3371, which takes effect January 1, 2022.
What the Future Holds for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Louisiana’s cannabis industry will take a page from the book of other states that have had successes implementing medical marijuana programs, such as Colorado and California, by growing into more familiar territory: licensed cultivators working to produce heavily tested and high-quality cannabis flowers.
Louisiana, like several other states in the south, has a limited or compromised medical marijuana program. While many states in the south have chosen “limited” or “compromise” programs that set limits on the amount of THC allowed and enforce onerous qualifying conditions, Louisiana has taken the exact opposite position.
By creating high-quality cannabis goods for a large number of people who might benefit from them, the state of Louisiana has taken a major step forward with a comprehensive medical marijuana program that is virtually certain to be a resounding success.
Dispensaries Are Now accessible In Louisiana
The scarcity of dispensaries allocated to various regions of Louisiana will be the state’s major problem. Only 9 medical marijuana pharmacies are allowed, and they are zoned throughout the state to provide access to the largest coverage area. If patients register at the same rate as Oklahoma, where there are presently over 350,000 registered patients, this may be a problem that the state needs to re-evaluate.
However, it’s conceivable that the state may add some new provisions to its medical marijuana program, such as increasing the number of dispensaries permitted in the state.
It’s doubtful that the state would allow a surplus of patients without access to medical marijuana or product shortages for long, based on the slew of legislation passed to support the medical cannabis program.
Now is the best time to get a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, and our team of experienced Doctors can help you answer any questions you may have about obtaining a cannabis card in Louisiana.
Get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card
If you’re a Louisiana resident suffering from a debilitating medical condition, you may be eligible to receive treatment with medical marijuana. At Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctors. Our team of experienced doctors can help determine whether medical cannabis is right for you and assist with every step of the process required to obtain your Louisiana medical marijuana card. Contact us today or schedule an appointment here!