How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana in 2023
Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Table of contents
There isn’t an MMJ card system in Louisiana. Instead, those interested in using medical cannabis work with a physician and dispensary to confirm their status as registered patients. All you need is a certificate from a state-licensed doctor, who forwards it to one of the Louisiana dispensaries of your choice. (You can also request a copy of the certificate from your pharmacy.)
Doctors can recommend medical marijuana to any patient who can benefit from medical marijuana. And patients can meet with a Louisiana doctor from the comfort of their homes via telemedicine platforms such as Leafwell.
With Leafwell, it is quick, simple, and secure to get a Louisiana medical marijuana recommendation certificate online.
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Benefits of Having a Medical Certificate in Louisiana
Anyone with a medical marijuana certificate is permitted a maximum of a 30-day supply of cannabis products, the total amount to be determined by each patient’s physician. Registered patients may possess any of the following products:
- Metered-dose inhalers
Every patient is different: your physician may recommend specific forms of medical marijuana products to suit your particular needs. Patients registered to the state medical marijuana program can also purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower per 14-day period from licensed Louisiana dispensaries.
Patients also are not required to pay taxes on their medical products.
To apply for a medical marijuana certificate, you must be a legal Louisiana resident older than 18.
Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Louisiana?
Those under 18 years can still qualify for a medical marijuana certificate but need a caregiver to handle their medicine. When it comes to those aged under 18 with autism spectrum disorder (AUD), both a pediatric specialist and a caregiver must sign off on the minor patient being certified.
According to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, the following conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia or sickle cell disease
- Communication difficulties or avoidance that jeopardizes the patient’s physical health
- Crohn’s disease
- Destructive or physically aggressive behaviors
- Huntington’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Lewy body dementia
- Motor neuron disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure disorders
- Self-injuring behaviors
- Severe muscle spasms
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wasting syndrome/cachexia
In addition to the above list of qualifying medical conditions, the law also permitted a medical marijuana doctor to recommend cannabis for any condition that they, as medical professionals, consider debilitating to an individual patient, essentially opening approval up to the physician’s discretion.
How to Apply
Documents You’ll Need
To apply for your MMJ certificate in Louisiana, you must show your signed certificate — which provides proof of your condition — and identification documents. You should gather together the following:
- Photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport
- Proof of residency, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or state correspondence that proves you are a Louisiana resident
- A signed medical marijuana recommendation (which can be obtained via Leafwell)
Leafwell’s healthcare providers don’t have to see your medical records. If you have them, we encourage you to upload them as it helps the healthcare provider during the consultation to get a clear overview of your health and history, but it is optional.
Steps to Apply
- Register online with Leafwell. You can speak to a doctor and qualify for a Louisiana medical marijuana certificate online. The cost of the online consultation and renewal is $199. You are only billed if approved.
- Attend your appointment and discuss with your physician why you would like an MMJ certificate. The doctor will ask you questions based on your medical history and provide you with advice and guidance on whether medical marijuana is a good choice for you.
- Certify with your chosen pharmacy through Leafwell. Your physician will contact your nominated dispensary to complete the necessary process of confirming that you are now a medical marijuana patient.
- Start legally buying medical marijuana. Note that there are no “cards” — your chosen dispensary will have you in their system, and you show a regular ID to purchase. If you want a physical copy of your certificate, your chosen pharmacy can provide you with one. Leafwell cannot provide you with a copy directly.
What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. We’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details, and you can also upload medical records (but this is not required). These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners to familiarize themselves with your application before your consultation.
The consultation is secure and straightforward on our HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform. You will meet with a Louisiana medical marijuana healthcare provider that has experience issuing certificates to patients for various medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions about your medical conditions and history.
At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner can make an informed decision about whether they recommend using medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification, which will be promptly emailed to your chosen dispensary.
You’re only charged for the appointment if approved, and the certification is good for one year.
The consultation with one of the Louisiana medical marijuana doctors via Leafwell’s HIPAA-compliant online consultation service is a one-off fee of $199. However, you will not be charged if you do not qualify for an MMJ certificate. A renewal with Leafwell costs $199.
Insurance does not currently cover the cost of applying for an MMJ certificate in Louisiana because cannabis is illegal at the federal level.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Louisiana gives legal protections to verified out-of-state patients and allows those patients to purchase cannabis products from the state’s dispensaries.
Several other states also practice medical marijuana reciprocity and may recognize a Louisiana patient’s status as such. However, you may need to request a physical copy of your certification to benefit from medical reciprocity. The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- Arkansas *
- California ^
- Colorado ^
- Connecticut ^
- Hawaii *
- Illinois ^
- Maryland ^ (as of July 2023)
- Michigan (qualifying state must also have reciprocity with Michigan)
- Missouri ^
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey *
- New Mexico * (recreational cannabis is legal in NM)
- New York ^
- Oklahoma *
- Oregon ^
- Pennsylvania (minors only)
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- U.S. Virgin Islands *
- Utah (max. 45 days, after which the patient must apply for a Utah MMJ card)
- Vermont ^
- Virginia ^
- Washington ^
- Washington, D.C.
States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for their stay.
States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out-of-state cards.
Applying as a Caregiver
Some patients may be eligible for a medical marijuana certification but cannot apply for one themselves. If the patient is under 18, the caregiver must be a parent or legal guardian responsible for the child’s welfare.
For minors with autism spectrum disorder, a pediatrician or pediatric subspecialist needs to approve medical cannabis use as well.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
In Louisiana, qualified patients may acquire cannabis at their assigned cannabis pharmacy, which they select when they obtain their patient certification.
When seeking medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to talk to the cannabis pharmacist and ask plenty of questions. These trained professionals can assist you in identifying the best cannabis products for specific health conditions and address any questions or concerns.
It is illegal in Louisiana for qualified medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis. Only licensed production facilities can grow medical marijuana under Louisiana law. Growing marijuana for any purpose is still illegal under state and federal law.
Louisiana Medical Marijuana Laws to Know
Recent legislation added many protections to participants in Louisiana’s medical marijuana program. Namely, police offers cannot do a warrantless search of someone’s residence based on the smell of cannabis. These laws also allow state employees in non-safety-sensitive roles to use medical cannabis.
Still, there are laws citizens must follow regarding cannabis. It is illegal to consume cannabis publicly, even with a medical certificate. Louisiana also has strict rules regarding driving under the influence of cannabis. If you’re caught driving with certain levels of THC in your system, you risk fines, a criminal record, and the loss of your license.
If you’re ready to secure your Louisiana medical marijuana card (certificate), connect with one of Leafwell’s healthcare providers today.
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Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.