Louisiana Marijuana Law

Louisiana Marijuana Law

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.

Louisiana Cannabis Laws History

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 Republican State Rep. Barry Ivey, 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, including State Rep. Brett Geymann, said the law puts people who want to grow marijuana “in a position of favoritism.” “This law is an absolute disaster,” Geymann said. “It’s going to destroy this state.” Geymann plans to file legislation that would allow anyone who was arrested for marijuana-related offenses under the old law to apply for a pardon. Geymann hopes 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.

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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, any Louisiana licensed Medical Doctor in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners may 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.





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