Louisiana’s medical program is an interesting one. It is closely controlled from a product perspective. On 1st January 2022, they permitted the sale of flower for the first time and the popularity of the program increased rapidly. In Louisiana, the stores where you can purchase medical product as a “card holder” (there are no cards) are called pharmacies and it is a pharmacist who runs these stores, emphasising the medical side of the program.
Here is a brief overview of the history of medical marijuana legislation in Louisiana:
1978 – the therapeutic marijuana legislation was first enacted making it one of the earliest states to do so but it only included patients with glaucoma and undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Due to the wording of the bill, patients never actually received this medicine.
1991 – spastic quadriplegia was added to the list of qualifying conditions but the language still meant it wasn’t enforceable.
2015 – Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law which set up a framework designed to allow the dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes.
2016 – a new law went into effect to exempt medical marijuana patients and caregivers from state prosecution
August 1, 2019 – the first round of medical marijauna was cleared for release and the first dispensaries were able to open
August 1, 2020 – a patient can qualify if they have a condition which their doctor "considers debilitating to an individual patient" and their doctor must be "qualified through medical education and training to treat"
August 1, 2021 – Non-medical cannabis is "decriminalized". House Bill 652 (H 652) makes possession of 14 grams or less — about half an ounce — a misdemeanor in all cases and limit the fine to $100 with no jail time