2022 is starting off right for Louisiana medical marijuana cardholders. If you’re an MMJ patient in the Creole State, then, starting this month, you’re going to finally be able to purchase and smoke cannabis in its dried flower form.
But, how does this impact Louisiana medical marijuana patients, and why has it taken so long to get here? Today, we’re looking at what it truly means for Louisiana to allow dried flower for MMJ patients after so many years.
Previous LA Marijuana Regulations
Louisiana’s medical marijuana history stretches back much further than you may realize. Surprisingly, the Bayou State actually enacted its first MMJ regulations in 1991, legalizing medical cannabis if a physician prescribed it.
However, the language here — “prescribed” — intimidated medical professionals, as it put them in an odd legal gray area. Thus, no one followed through with it, and the program stayed stagnant.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Louisiana finally adjusted the language surrounding its MMJ policies. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed SB 271 into law, and this bill replaced the outdated, unclear nomenclature.
With this new legislation, doctors can recommend medical cannabis for those who demonstrate qualifying conditions. Then, it took another three years for actual products to come on the market.
It was in August of 2019 that patients finally had access to MMJ.
Unfortunately, while this bill was great for the LA medical cannabis community as a whole, it still excluded pertinent, beneficial forms of cannabis for consumption. Specifically, the bill outlined that MMJ is only permitted in “processed, non-smokable forms.” Essentially, this meant that products like dried cannabis flower were illegal in the state.
Louisiana not allowing dried flower for its MMJ patients has proven difficult for many. As we’ll talk about later, dried cannabis flower provides the quickest, most potent bioavailability, helping patients get relief immediately. But, when you can’t go buy a gram to grind up and smoke, you’re left to other, less effective options.
Thankfully, all of this finally changed at the start of 2022.
Louisiana Permits Dried Flower As Smokeable Form of MMJ
Starting January 1st, the state announced that Louisiana will permit dried flower as a smokable form of MMJ. Louisiana’s three major grow sites have already started cultivating cannabis in preparation for this announcement, too.
According to LA news sources, these grow sites have nearly 200 pounds of product that they’re ready to sell for distribution.
So, while Louisiana is just now allowing dried flower, it doesn’t appear there will be much of a shortage. These growers are ready for the popularity that this kind of product brings. John Davis of Good Day Farms expressed, “It’s an exciting day. It feels like the first day again from August 2019 when the first products became available.”
While we won’t know the impact that Louisiana legalizing dried flower will have on patients until it’s been available for about six months, the implications seem overwhelmingly positive.
Why Is This Significant?
For patients who require fast-acting, potent support from their medical cannabis, Louisiana permitting dried flower is an absolute blessing. As we mentioned above, inhalation is the quickest and most effective form of cannabis consumption.
When you inhale products like flower, the cannabinoids travel straight to your bloodstream and throughout the body. They don’t have to do any maneuvering or go through digestion before getting to work. Thus, you’re able to experience benefits nearly immediately — and they’re full-bodied, too.
Not only is Louisiana legalizing dried flower significant for medical purposes, but it’s also helpful for financial reasons, as well.
Statistically, dried flower is some of the most affordable cannabis product you can purchase on the market. Processing cannabis is going to cost more to both customers and manufacturers; thus, allowing unprocessed, dried flower grants low-cost options to the LA market. This helps to increase cannabis access to patients across the state, as customers are no longer limited to expensive, processed options.
LEARN MORE: Louisiana Medical Marijuana FAQs
What Patients Have Seen Thus Far
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that these lower prices — that the state promised — are actually present. Many consumers have found that legal dried cannabis costs more than street-value, illegal products. Shockingly, patients found eighths ranging from $35 all the way up to a whopping $80.
The inconsistent, top-shelf pricing isn’t at all what the state promised LA patients when Lousiana announced they would allow dried flower.
But, as the state continues to work out this new facet of the medical marijuana program, it’s likely that these prices will find some sort of stability and middle ground. Unfortunately, Louisiana medical marijuana patients will have to be a little bit, well, patient.
As we mentioned, it’ll likely take a few months for the program to settle into place with these new dried flower regulations.
Get Your MMJ Card and (Finally) Enjoy Louisiana Dried Flower For Yourself
Elevate Holistics is proud to offer our medical marijuana card recommendation services to the residents of Louisiana.
With us, you can get the medical recommendation you need to apply with the state and start purchasing your Louisiana dried flower. Our platform is entirely online, so you don’t even have to leave your home to get your e-rec.
Having a medical marijuana card is the only way you’ll get to experience Louisiana dried flower legally. So, if you’ve been looking for a sign to get your medical cannabis, this is it.
Book your appointment with Elevate Holistics using the scheduler below and see what it’s like to puff on some LA flower.