Louisiana Canna

Legalization of marijuana is a hot topic in Louisiana, as many supporters push for its legalization for recreational purposes. The law in Louisiana legalizing medical marijuana has been met with mixed feelings. For some, this is the first step in opening the door to a new way of life while others are worried about the impact on society.

The Louisiana state legislature has been hesitant to pass legislation to legalize medical marijuana, but the public is increasingly growing in favor of the idea. Louisiana has taken an interesting path when it comes to cannabis. For some, this is the first step in opening the door to a new way of life while others are worried about the impact it’ll have on society.

Louisiana Marijuana Law

Louisiana’s cannabis bill was introduced to legalize medical marijuana in 2015, but it failed to pass. The Louisiana State Legislature passed Act 339 on June 20, 2015 which legalized the use of cannabis oil to treat specific types of epilepsy.

In 2016, a bill was proposed that would have legalized medical marijuana for patients suffering from glaucoma, epilepsy and other debilitating conditions. It was voted down by the House Committee on Health and Welfare on March 21, 2016. The law also legalized marijuana for medical use in Louisiana for terminally ill patients. with a two-year prognosis, or children with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, or chronic seizure disorders.”We’re focused on protecting freedom and personal liberties,” said the bill’s sponsor. “The laws of the state of Louisiana will not be enforced in a manner that would cause the arrest or criminal prosecution of those who are acting in compliance with this act.”Some conservatives in Louisiana said the law puts people who want to grow marijuana “in a position of favoritism.” “This law is an absolute disaster,” representatives said. “It’s going to destroy this state.” Legislators plan to file legislation that would allow anyone who was arrested for marijuana-related offenses under the old law to apply for a pardon. They hope the new law will not just be a “growing weed” bill and that it will actually be enforced to the extent that it’s written. “Hopefully, it would be good for our children,” he said.

In 2016, Louisiana passed a law that reduced criminal penalties for possession of marijuana from 20 years in prison to six months in jail.

map of US state cannabis laws

In 2017, Louisiana legalized the sale of cannabis for medical use.”Medical Cannabis by Unlicensed Persons Act” (Act No. 215) went into effect on May 13, 2017 and became law on June 13, 2017. Under the Act:  “A person with a qualifying condition that is not traditionally accepted as medical care in this state, or a person with no qualifying condition who believes that cannabis will provide relief from symptoms of the person’s qualifying condition, may purchase cannabis from an otherwise lawful source and use it for symptom relief.” The statute includes basic guidelines for this process:  “A patient shall not be denied access to medical cannabis by reason of any past or current violation of law that does not impede the patient’s access to medical cannabis or cause any identifiable harm to the public health, safety, or welfare.” The law was sponsored by Senator Fred Mills and Representative Ted James. The law defines “medical cannabis as a plant of the genus Cannabis that possesses a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis and more than ten percent (10%) of other cannabinoids may be present. The term includes cannabis or paraphernalia used in connection with or related to the use of medical cannabis.

In 2018, Louisiana passed a law that legalized medical marijuana for specific conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, and epilepsy.In October 2018, Louisiana passed a law that legalized possession of up to an ounce of weed for adults over the age of 21. and medical use for patients with a doctor’s prescription.

In August 2020, physicians were able to start recommending medical cannabis for any condition they consider debilitating to their patient.

As of August 1st, 2020, HB 819 allows any Louisiana licensed Medical Doctor in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners to recommend Medical Cannabis to their patients.

Since then, Louisiana has been working on a set of regulations to govern the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana. Allowing people with certain conditions to legally buy marijuana from dispensaries in Louisiana.

In 2021 Louisiana Passed Cannabis Legalization

On April 20th, 2021, the Louisiana legislature passed legislation that decriminalized cannabis. The legislation went into effect on July 1st, 2021 and made possession of up to two ounces of cannabis a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and civil offense punishable by a $500 fine and community service for first time offenders.

On June 14, 2021, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Rep. Cedric Glover’s decriminalization bill — HB 652 — into law. This law is a step in the direction of decriminalization, and reduces the penalty for posession of cannabis for personal or recreational use. Those who posses small amounts of cannabis for recreational use may posses 14 grams of flower form marijuana at a time. The penalty for possessing up to 14 grams (or 0.49 oz.) of cannabis was reduced to a fine of up to $100.

Possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana is now punishable with a summons (similar to a traffic ticket), rather than an arrest. HB 652 does not change the penalty for having more than 14 grams, possessing with the intent to distribute, or selling any amount. Those laws are still in place.

On January 1, 2022, cannabis flower became available as a form of medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana.

The People of Louisiana have gone through the process of diffusing their State’s Marijuana Laws and now are on the verge of taking a step in the right direction for marijuana reform in Louisiana. The Louisiana House of Representatives is expected to say ‘yes’ to legalizing marijuana. Yes, we are on the verge of being one step closer to ending prohibition in Louisiana .I am proud that this landmark achievement is possible because of the hard work done by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) over the last year and a half and I want to thank them for their dedication to ending prohibition. For too long, politics and prohibition have kept people from realizing the benefits of cannabis and stifled opportunities for innovation. SSDP has been one of the most active movements in ending marijuana prohibition across the country. This is a great development that will set Louisiana on a different path. I hope this announcement will inspire others in other states to follow suit.

Louisiana’s Medical Cannabis Board would be in charge of setting and enforcing rules for licensing, permits, and registrations in order to have safe access to medical marijuana. The Board will also be responsible for setting the price of marijuana products, as well as generating a list of qualifying illnesses that could qualify towards having access.The Louisiana Legislature has proposed a new bill that would help ensure that qualified patients have safe access to medical marijuana in Louisiana. The bill, HB 590, would allow the Medical Cannabis Board to implement a list of qualifying illnesses. The Bill is being sponsored by Representative Austin Badon who is serving alongside Rep. Tanner Magee as a co-sponsor for this legislation which will be voting on in the House next week. Representative Badon stated that, “This bill is to help people in our state who suffer from debilitating illnesses and chronic pain.”

There are some restrictions on the legislation that include:

  • The patient must have a recommendation from their doctor who is licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.
  • Only certain dispensaries will be allowed to distribute marijuana
  • The patient must have a valid identification card issued by the state showing they are legally allowed to purchase marijuana products.
  • Only people with certain medical conditions that have been diagnosed with by a licensed physician will be legally allowed to purchase and use marijuana.
  • The patient must register with the state, which includes both a photo ID and proof of their medical condition.
  • Patients must have a valid prescription for medical marijuana from one of the three dispensaries.
  • The dispensary has to keep all information about the patients confidential.
  • Patients cannot grow marijuana on their own.

What Qualifies You For Medical Marijuana In Louisiana?

As of August 1st, 2020, any Louisiana licensed Medical Doctor in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners may recommend Medical Cannabis to their patients.

You must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and be a Louisiana resident with proof of residency to qualify for medical marijuana in Louisiana.

The patient must have a recommendation from their doctor who is licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Spasticity
  • Severe Muscle Spasms
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Any other condition “that a physician, in his medical opinion, considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat” according to the law.

Louisiana law allows patients with glaucoma, cancer, spastic quadriplegia, or who are undergoing chemotherapy are allowed to possess and use medical marijuana. People that have a medical condition who are not able to live with the side effects of drugs, including marijuana, can be prescribed other options, such as smoking cessation meds. There are currently no provisions in the law that allow recreational marijuana use.

Are Cannabis Dispensaries Legal in Louisiana?

Yes, they are. State approved dispensaries are completely legal to supply medical cannabis.

You must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and be a Louisiana resident with proof of residency to qualify for medical marijuana in Louisiana.

The patient must have a recommendation from their doctor who is licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.

Cannabis Dispensaries In Louisiana

Louisiana is home to a number of medical cannabis dispensaries. There are nine dispensaries throughout Louisiana. New Orleans has multiple dispensaries, with more opening up soon.

Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2016 allowing for the use of medical marijuana. There are still many safety concerns with this law. Louisiana is currently seeking a new bill that would implement a Medical Cannabis Board to regulate and oversee medical cannabis businesses and provide licenses, permits, and registrations in order to have safe access to medical marijuana.

According to the most recent data from the Louisiana Office of Economic Development, Baton Rouge Louisiana’s cannabis industry has an estimated economic impact of $40.7 million and supports 2,271 jobs in the area. The estimated economic impact generated by that industry accounts for less than 1% of all jobs in the city. It pays out $2 million in wages, and $18.6 million in tax revenue.

The Baton Rouge Medical Marijuana Dispensary Code of Ethics says “In the case of a conflict between these standards and other provisions of law, the following guidelines shall apply:

1. The property owner’s rights take precedence over any legal requirements; and

2. No person should undertake to restrict or limit the property owner’s rights in any way.” Among the first defense of medical marijuana dispensaries is that they operate within the guidelines of the “Baton Rouge Medical Marijuana Dispensary Code of Ethics”It can be inferred that this code is an outline of what dispensary owners should abide by and what they should not do.

In order to establish a code, it must have been first established by a law. Laws are not created by themselves, they are created and approved by lawmakers or governing officials. In order to establish this code, it must have been passed and signed into law.  The Louisiana Legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Law in 1999. This took effect in 2001. It is unknown how long this code has existed before then and it cannot be said for certain that this code has been established by law.  The Code of Ethics also states “this Code shall apply to all individuals currently or hereafter licensed, certified, or registered under the law ”. This indicates that it is possibly in effect before the law was established. No, the Louisiana Code of Ethics has not been established by law.

The state’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry is developing its own system for tracking medical marijuana and dispensaries. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry has also issued regulations for the cultivation, production, distribution and sale of medical cannabis. Under the regulations, medical marijuana may be prescribed by physicians to patients with qualifying conditions. Patients will have the option of purchasing cannabis from licensed pharmacies or growing their own at home with a limited number of plants.


New Orleans, La

H&W Drug Store
1667 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

H&W Drug Store was the first Medical Marijuana Pharmacy in the Metropolitan Region of the State of Louisiana. H & W’s Region 1 services Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes.

Baton Rouge, La

Capitol Wellness Solutions
7941 Picardy Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Baton Rouge’s Capitol Wellness Solutions recording the state’s first-ever regulated medical – cannabis sales transactions

Lafayette, La

The Apothecary Shoppe
620 Guilbeau Rd Ste A
Lafayette, LA 70506​

The Apothecary Shoppe was awarded the license in the Acadian region which includes Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes.

Lake Charles, La

Medicis Pharmacy
1727 Imperial Blvd Bldg 4
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Medicis Pharmacy, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was awarded the license in the Southwest region which includes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis parishes.

Shreveport, La

Hope Pharmacy
1410 Kings Hwy Ste A
Shreveport, LA 71301

Alexandria, La

The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy
403 Bolton Ave
Alexandria, LA 71301

The Medicine Cabinet was honored to be awarded a license by the Louisiana State Board of Pharmacy to dispense medical marijuana to the patients in 8 of the Central Louisiana parishes including  Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn.

Madissonville / Covington, La

Willow Pharmacy, Inc.
1519 LA-22 Suite 3
Madisonville, LA 70447

Medical marijuana and cannabis dispensary in Southeast Louisiana.

Houma, La

Green Leaf Dispensary
6048 W Park Ave
Houma, LA 70364

​ Green Leaf Dispensary was awarded with a license to bring medicinal cannabis to Houma, Louisiana.


Are Edibles Legal In Louisiana?

Certain edibles are currently legal and will update as more are added. Most edibles are CBD based.  Medical marijuana will be available in forms including flower, edibles and oils. Edibles containing THC can be purchased from a state licensed dispensary.

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