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Louisiana Medical Marijuana Law

Louisiana’s first medical marijuana law was passed in 1978, but the state’s medical cannabis program has been updated several times since then. The most recent legislative changes occurred in 2020, broadening the scope of the law. The state’s production and dispensary laws, however, remain relatively restrictive.

Your qualifying condition must be diagnosed by a physician in order for you to obtain a Louisiana MMJ card. Your doctor must be a member of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

A cardholder may purchase cannabis products after receiving approval from a doctor. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy currently regulates nine authorized dispensaries. You can buy products from any of the nine if you have a doctor’s certification and a state ID.

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Louisiana Medical Marijuana Law History

By signing HB 149, Governor Bobby Jindal established Louisiana’s medical marijuana industry. This bill also established a framework for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Nonetheless, the first Louisiana cannabis retailer would not be able to sell any products until August 2019.

Then, John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 819. This legislation broadened access to the state’s medical cannabis program. It specifically legalized medical cannabis for the treatment of any debilitating condition.

A new law known as HB 391 recently broadened LA’s cannabis legislation, making raw and smokable cannabis products legal throughout the state. Cardholders may now possess up to 2.5 ounces of the flower without facing legal consequences.

Recreational sales and possession, on the other hand, remain illegal at the state level. Fortunately, decriminalization efforts in cities such as New Orleans have gained traction.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Louisiana

Before purchasing medical cannabis, patients must obtain valid authorization from their doctors. A patient can purchase a 30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana after obtaining that documentation. which amounts to a maximum of two and a half ounces of smokable flower. THC-containing metered-dose inhalers may also be sold in dispensaries.

Louisiana Public Consumption Laws

Public consumption laws make it illegal to use cannabis products or infusions in public places. As a result, qualified patients must consume cannabis at home.

Louisiana Cannabis DUI Laws

Driving while or after consuming cannabis products is illegal, even if you are medically permitted to do so. First-time offenders may face a $300 fine as well as a DUI charge. If you have more than 14 grams on you, the fine is increased to $500. In addition, you could face a jail sentence of up to six months.

Applying for a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card?

The application process for a Louisiana medical card is fairly simple. If you live in Louisiana, you are eligible to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Begin by obtaining a diagnosis of your qualifying medical condition from a state-licensed doctor. This can include any of the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cachexia
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Severe muscle spasms/spasticity
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Any other physician-diagnosed debilitating condition

To purchase medical marijuana products after receiving a diagnosis, you must present your identification at an approved pharmacy. Your doctor’s note will serve as your MMJ card.

Don’t be concerned if you are unsure whether you have a qualifying diagnosis. The Sanctuary can put you in touch with a doctor who can walk you through the state’s application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marijuana use for recreational purposes is still illegal in Louisiana. Having said that, decriminalization efforts have resulted in lower criminal penalties for possession. If someone is caught with less than 14 grams of marijuana, the fine cannot exceed $100.

State law typically governs which products a dispensary may sell to registered medical marijuana patients. Patients are currently limited to a 30-day supply, or a total of two and a half ounces of flower. Patients can also get a 14-day supply of non-smokable cannabis. Metered-dose inhalers are another option for patients using medical cannabis.

Patients and caregivers can now possess cannabis flower and CBD products thanks to recent legislative changes. Similarly, distillates can be purchased from state-licensed marijuana pharmacies. However, under Louisiana law, you are only allowed to possess two and a half ounces of marijuana flower every 30 days.

Patients can only buy a 30-day supply of products from dispensaries. Since 2000, that number has been two and a half ounces of flower. Additional state-defined restrictions apply to non-smokable marijuana preparations.

Patients from other states are not eligible for out-of-state reciprocity. Only LA residents can buy products from dispensaries because they require a state-issued photo ID.

There are currently no laws prohibiting felons from participating in the state’s therapeutic marijuana program. You may purchase products from a Louisiana dispensary even if you have been convicted of a felony. Your medical card will be valid as long as you have been diagnosed by a state-certified physician and are not a minor.