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Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Louisiana?

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Cannabis regulations change every day, leaving residents in the US confused about the status of the green plant in their area. So, whether you’re planning to visit or move to the Bayou State, you’ve probably got one question on your mind: is weed legal in Louisiana?

Well, when it comes to marijuana, there’s so much more than just a yes or no answer.

Cannabis legality is not a blank check! Hence, following the cannabis laws that Lousiana has outlined is crucial to enjoying your MMJ safely and legally. Let’s get into the legalities behind LA medical marijuana.

is medical marijuana legal in Louisiana

Louisiana Marijuana Law

Technically, Louisiana legalized medical marijuana all the way back in 1991 – but it didn’t matter. No one could consume it.

Act 874, which legalized marijuana, said doctors could “prescribe” marijuana. Still, the doctors could not legally prescribe marijuana because, at the federal level, it was a Schedule I drug, and doctors can’t prescribe prohibited substances. It was like legalization with no medical marijuana. 

In 2016, The Pelican State became the first in the Deep South to create a comprehensive medical marijuana program when Governor John Bell Edwards signed Senate Bill 271.

The bill said doctors could only recommend medical marijuana to patients, meaning Doctors still couldn’t prescribe medical marijuana to patients under the new bill.

So, today, yes: medical marijuana is finally legal in Louisiana.

That said, states that have legalized medical marijuana have one thing in common: laws regulating the plant. Here is a breakdown of Louisiana marijuana laws.  

Regulation Authority 

The cultivation, testing, and processing of cannabis fall under the authority of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry regulations. 

Cannabis doctors in Louisiana are under the control of the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy oversees dispensaries.  

Can You Grow Marijuana in Louisiana?

Is weed legal in Louisana? What about cultivation? What if you have a valid medical all card and want to grow marijuana at home?

Unfortunately, no — you cannot grow marijuana in Louisiana. Your MMJ card permits you to only buy cannabis and cannabis products — not grow it.

Under Louisiana cannabis law, only licensed production facilities can grow marijuana. The Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre and Southern University Agricultural Centre are the only licensed cultivation facilities. 

CBD is legal in Louisiana. In 2019, the state passed laws that clearly defined and established CBD regulations. The CBD must be made from industrial hemp and contain no more than 0.3% THC. 

Where Can You Consume Cannabis in Louisiana?

The list of places where you can’t consume marijuana in Louisiana is quite long and covers pretty much everywhere that isn’t your private residence.

is medical marijuana legal in louisiana

You can’t enjoy cannabis in public or anywhere you’re likely to be seen by members of the public. Also, it is prohibited to consume cannabis on federal property.

Your home is the best place to safely consume cannabis without breaking the law. More so, don’t wave it in front of people. 

Driving Under Influence

You can still break DUI laws even if you have a Louisiana medical marijuana card. The state law does not allow you to use marijuana and drive or operate any other motorized vehicle.

If certain amounts of THC are found in your system while driving, you could incur a fine. It will go on your record, and you could also lose your license. It’s best to use marijuana when you know you won’t need to drive. 

Medical Marijuana Possession Limits in Louisiana 

Patients and caregivers with a valid MMJ card can possess up to a month’s supply of cannabis. However, they can only buy 2.5 ounces or 71 grams of cannabis every 14 days.  

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana patients can buy products only from licensed dispensaries. There are nine state-certified medical marijuana dispensaries in Louisiana with verified products.

Stick to only licensed dispensaries; your MMJ card does not protect you if you buy from any other source. 

Edibles and smokable forms are allowed, but vapes are illegal. However, patients can use a metered-dose inhaler.

According to rules specified by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, dispensaries can produce medical marijuana in only the following forms:

  • Oils, extracts, tinctures, or sprays  
  • Solid oral dosage forms, e.g., capsules or pills  
  • Liquid oral dosage forms, e.g., solutions or suspensions
  • Gelatin-based chewable tablets
  • Topical applications, oils or lotions
  • Transdermal patches
  • Suppositories

Also, a single dose of medical marijuana must not contain more than 10 milligrams of THC. 

is medical marijuana legal in Louisiana

What if you don’t have a Louisiana medical marijuana card and you want to consume marijuana? Presently, only medical marijuana is legal. If you don’t have a valid MMJ card and you’re caught with marijuana, you’ll face the consequences of the law.

While recreational possession and use are illegal, Louisiana has decriminalized possession of small amounts.

On June 15, 2021, Governor Bel Edwards signed House Bill 652, and the law went into effect on August 1, 2021. Under the terms of the bill, possession of fewer than 14 grams of marijuana carries a $100 fine and no jail time.

The sponsor of the decriminalization bill, Rep. Cedric Glover, noted that decriminalizing marijuana was in the interests of Louisiana residents, especially the Black and Brown communities, low-income residents, and young people.

There have been several efforts to legalize weed in Louisiana, but so far, adult-use cannabis is yet to happen.

What Illnesses Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

Usually, medical marijuana is available only to patients who suffer from qualifying medical conditions specified by law. 

In Louisiana, these conditions are referred to as debilitating medical conditions. They are the following:

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuanas in Louisiana?

Actually, no one can prescribe medical marijuana anywhere in America. That’s because marijuana is a Schedule I drug, so it’s against the law for doctors to prescribe it.

So, how is it legal if doctors can’t prescribe it? As we explained, medical cannabis doctors in Louisiana can only recommend medical marijuana to patients; a recommendation is not a prescription, so no law is broken.  

Medical Marijuana Doctors in Louisiana 

Louisiana medical marijuana law states that a physician must meet these two criteria before they can prescribe medical marijuana:

  1. They must have a Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners license to practice medicine and be in good standing with the board.
  2. They must have a bonafide doctor-patient relationship with the patient they recommend medical marijuana treatment to.

For a doctor-patient relationship to be bonafide, the physician must have conducted at least one physical examination on the patient. Also, the physician must have consulted with the patient regarding their debilitating medical condition and be willing to provide follow-up care.  

is medical marijuana legal in Louisiana

Does Louisiana Accept Out-of-State MMJ Cards?

Patients from out-of-state can’t buy medical marijuana in Louisiana even if they have a valid MMJ card from their state. Only Louisiana residents can receive a physician’s certification, obtain an MMJ card and buy medical marijuana.  

Medical Marijuanas Dispensary Louisiana 

Regulations set forth by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy allow issuing a maximum of ten dispensary licenses.

Presently, the board has issued nine licenses to dispensaries in each of the nine regions of the state established by the state Department of Health. You can find the names and locations of the pharmacies here. 

Pharmacies can only sell you two and a half ounces or 71 grams of marijuana every fourteen days. Also, pharmacies can’t recommend raw marijuana to patients below 21 years unless their physician specifically recommends it. 

Elevate Holistics is Here to Serve You Better

We understand how confusing the world of cannabis can be, but you can trust us to hold your hand and walk you through the process.

In this piece, we’ve laid out everything about medical marijuana in Louisiana for you, but that’s not all. You can find more information on our Louisiana FAQ cannabis page, or even book your own appointment with us down below.

At Elevate Holistics, we’ve made it our mission to be the link between you and medical marijuana. Our team makes access easy for you. We can help you get your MMJ card, get an appointment with a qualified physician, or find a licensed dispensary.

Book an appointment with us today and get your Lousiana medical marijuana card 100% online, 100% hassle-free.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.

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