Louisiana Marijuana Laws

If you currently live in Louisiana or have a trip scheduled and use medical marijuana, it’s important for you to know the current laws in place in Louisiana. Louisiana marijuana laws are still relatively new, so it can be hard to find the most up-to-date information to go on.

Fortunately, we’ve pulled together all you need to know about marijuana legalization in Louisiana so you can be informed and not taken by surprise. Here’s a brief overview of Louisiana Marijuana Laws before we dig into more specific recreational, medical, and cultivation laws.

Legal Status
Medical Program

Possession Limits
Medical Patients: 30 day supply (amount determined by physician)
Recreational Users: Illegal

State Taxes
Medical Patients: 0%
Recreational Users: Illegal


So, is marijuana legal in Louisiana? Let’s find out.

  • An Overview of Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

    Keep in mind that since 2018, Louisiana marijuana laws have changed dramatically. In May of that year, the state legislature passed a bill that made medical marijuana legal. This was a huge step forward for Louisiana, as it became the first southern state to legalize medical marijuana. However, there are still some restrictions in place. Let’s take a closer look at what the new laws say about marijuana in Louisiana.

    First of all, only certain forms of medical marijuana are allowed; this includes tinctures, oils, and extracts. Smoking or vaping marijuana is still illegal, as well as growing it at home. Furthermore, there are specific qualifying conditions that must be met in order to get a prescription for medical marijuana. These include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and severe muscle spasms.

    In addition to those restrictions, there are also certain regulations in place regarding the sale and distribution of medical marijuana. Dispensaries must be licensed by the state, and they can only sell products that have been tested by an approved laboratory. Additionally, all purchases must be made in cash, and the amount purchased must be tracked.

    Overall, Louisiana marijuana laws have come a long way since 2018. Now, more people than ever before can access medical marijuana, as a form of treatment for their conditions. While there are still some restrictions in place, this is certainly a step in the right direction!

    Have more questions? Check out our complete Q&A on Louisiana marijuana laws below.

  • A Brief History of Marijuana Legislation in Louisiana

    To understand Louisiana weed laws, we need to briefly dive into the long (and somewhat complicated) history of medical marijuana in the state.

    The Beginning

    The current position of the law on MMj in Louisiana has evolved through significant milestones, starting in 1991 when Act No. 874 legalized medical marijuana in the state. However, this legislation only allowed for the prescription of medical marijuana by doctors. It made no express provision about selling, dispensing, or possessing medical marijuana. This left patients high and dry. (Pun somewhat intended.) 

    Then, SB No. 541 modified the requirements of the earlier legislation concerning qualifying conditions. It made it the state’s Department of Health and Hospital (DHH) duty to oversee the Therapeutic Marijuana Utilization Board. DHH also had the responsibility of facilitating the licensing of doctors, producers, and pharmacies for medical marijuana. However, this did not do much to give patients legal access to medical cannabis.

    Making the Necessary Changes

    Gov. John Bel Edwards signed SB 271 in 2016. This legislation provided for a very comprehensive — and much needed — medical cannabis program in Louisiana. SB 271 allowed physicians to recommend cannabis to patients instead of prescription as stated in the earlier ruling of 1991. Along with this, the bill stated that professionals must provide medical marijuana in Louisiana in a processed, non-smokable form. Even more, it also made provision for distribution to medical marijuana patients through about nine pharmacies — otherwise known as dispensaries.

    Later in 2018, Gov. Edwards signed HB 579 and HB 627, which increased qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. This allowed even more people in Louisiana to gain access to MMJ for their medical conditions.

    The regulatory Board for the state’s medical marijuana program for physicians is the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. Prior to 2018, the Board limited the number of patients doctors could license MMJ cards for — capping this to 100 people. Thankfully, the Board changed this rule, removing the strange patient number limitation.

    In 2020, HB 819, in a very welcome development, also increased the number of qualifying conditions and allowed physicians to recommend cannabis for any debilitating condition they are qualified to treat if they believe the patient will benefit from it. Therefore, this provision widely expanded the scope of patients entitled to medical marijuana in Louisiana.

    Louisiana Medical Marijuana Laws Today… Finally

    It was June 2021 when Gov. Edwards signed the notable House Bill 391, repealing the state’s ban on dried, smokable cannabis for medical marijuana patients. This law will take effect on January 1, 2022, and it will allow registered medical marijuana patients to — finally — obtain raw cannabis for inhalation.

    However, you must keep in mind that, until then, patients can only consume cannabis in non-smokable forms. (Sorry, but patience is a virtue!) As expected, the over 4,000 registered LA MMJ cardholders are more than welcoming of these developments to the Louisiana medical marijuana laws of the state.

  • So, Did Louisiana Pass a Medical Marijuana Law?

    Yes, as of 2019, medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana.

    This is because the law making it legal actually passed back in 2014. However, it was not enacted until 2019, making medical marijuana inaccessible for citizens up until that point.

    It’s important to know that currently, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is in charge of all regulations for medical marijuana, including the production and manufacturing of all forms. Essentially, this means that all growth of medical marijuana is handled by the government of Louisiana.

  • What About Recreational Marijuana in Louisiana?

    While medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana, recreational use of marijuana is currently not legal in the state. While this may be discouraging news for some people, there is some positive news.

    While the use of marijuana recreationally is still illegal in Louisiana, in 2021, the state legislature voted to decriminalize the possession of recreational marijuana. This means that if a person is found with 14 grams of marijuana, or less, then they will face a fine of up to $300 versus being sentenced to jail time. While this isn’t full legalization, it has hopefully begun the process of helping the public view marijuana in a different way.

    Decriminalization is the first step toward the recreational use of marijuana being legalized in Louisiana. In fact, many politicians and citizens alike are still pushing for marijuana to be legalized in Louisiana in the coming years. In the meantime, many people are working to spread awareness of the benefits of marijuana legalization.

  • How do I get Certified for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

    So, while you can’t purchase or use recreational marijuana, those people who qualify for a medical card in Louisiana are able to receive a prescription from a doctor for medical marijuana. In order to understand the qualifications and limitations put into place by the Louisiana government, you need to review Louisiana law RS 40:1046.

    Fortunately, we’ve read the law for you and can sum up what you need to know. In order to qualify for a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, a person must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a doctor licensed to practice in the state.

    Once a person qualifies for a medical marijuana card, they are placed in a statewide database, where they can go to a qualifying Louisiana cannabis dispensary and receive their prescribed dosage. It’s important to understand that, legally, each cardholder may only be given up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every 14 days. This helps ensure cardholders are not abusing the system or sharing their prescribed medication.

    Some other essential pieces of the Louisiana marijuana laws include:

    ·   Marijuana prescribed and handed out must have the lowest possible therapeutic amounts of THC for the diagnosed ailment.

    ·   Employers and work-provided insurance are not required to cover or pay for the prescription of medical marijuana.

    Understanding the specifics of the marijuana laws in Louisiana will help ensure you aren’t surprised if you come across any terms or limitations regarding medical marijuana cards and usage.

    With Elevate Holistics, you can get your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certificate in a few simple steps.

  • What Medical Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana?

    To qualify for a medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana, patients need to be diagnosed with a specific medical condition. Some of the most common qualifying conditions include:

    ·   Cancer

    ·   HIV or AIDS

    ·   Cachexia

    ·   Seizure disorder

    ·   Epilepsy

    ·   Crohn’s disease

    ·   Muscular dystrophy

    ·   Multiple sclerosis

    ·   Glaucoma

    ·   Parkinson’s disease

    ·   Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    ·   Specific symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder

  • Is Telemedicine Allowed for Medical Cannabis Consultations in Louisiana?

    Yes, telemedicine is legal in Louisiana and you can get certified for cannabis online in 3-steps with Elevate Holistics.

  • What are Marijuana Possession Laws in Louisiana?

    According to the Louisiana weed laws, patients and caregivers can possess up to a one-month supply of processed and non-smokable cannabis in a form recommended by their physician. However, when House Bill 391 goes into effect next year, patients will be able to purchase up to two and a half ounces of medical cannabis flower within every 14 days from the licensed providers.

    On June 14, 2021, Governor Edwards also signed HB 652 into law and commencing from August 1, 2021, the state will drastically reduce the penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a fine of not more than $100. For offenders who cannot pay this sum, the court also has the discretion to impose alternatives such as allowing installment payments or ordering them to community service. The provision is opposed to the current stiff penalty, which imposes up to 15 days jail term for a first offender who possesses up to 14 grams. This penalty increases with subsequent convictions such that a subsequent simple possession offense could be up to eight years of jail term. Nonetheless, ‘til the new law goes into effect next year, this remains the position in the Bayou State.

  • Can I get a Marijuana Cultivation License in Louisiana?

    With medical marijuana legal in Louisiana, you may be wondering how you can begin cultivating your own crops. However, this is a more complicated topic than you may realize. As previously mentioned, the LDAF currently handles all cultivation of medical marijuana. This means that there is no medical growth permitted outside of two agencies in the state:

    ·   Louisiana State University Agriculture Center

    ·   Southern University Agriculture Center

    No other individual or business is allowed to grow medical marijuana for personal use or distribution. However, hemp cultivation is an entirely different subject.

    The LDAF also handles the licensing and regulation of hemp growth in Louisiana. Currently, there are approximately 160 active hemp-growing licenses in the state. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a licensed hemp cultivator, there’s a set of steps you must follow.

  • How can I get a Hemp Growing License in Louisiana?

    In order to become licensed to grow hemp in Louisiana, one must follow the application process that has been put in place by the state. To start off the application process, there is an application packet that must be reviewed, filled out, and completed. New applications for hemp cultivating are accepted at any time by the LDAF, while renewal applications must be turned in by November 30th annually.

    It’s also important to note that you must pay a $500 license fee if and when you are notified of your application’s approval. Until this fee is paid, you are unable to begin cultivating hemp in the state. All applications are processed online through a secure form that the applicant must fill out completely in order to be considered.

    Part of the required application involves providing a clear map showing the location of the proposed hemp farm. The map must be in color and has to provide the location of any growing, storage, handling, or processes locations. The physical address and GPS coordinates of the center of the field are also required in the application.

    Once the application is turned in, the applicant must pass a background check. Specifically, the LDAF requires hemp cultivators to have no felonies on their record for the last ten years, as well as no drug-related offenses for the last two years. If the applicant meets these criteria, then their application can move forward.

    Another key point to understand is that the hemp cultivation application must be done in an individual’s name, not under a business entity. Even if the applicant plans to grow or sell their hemp under the name of a business, the license has to be under an individual’s name.

    If the applicant passes all the steps of the application process, they can be added to the list of hemp cultivators in Louisiana. All hemp cultivators must abide by the rules and regulations set in place by the LDAF.

  • What Kind of Cannabis Products are Allowed in Louisiana?

    Currently, the nine state-approved medical marijuana pharmacies in Louisiana do not sell marijuana in smokable forms. The only forms allowed are as follows:

    • Inhalers
    • Edible gummies
    • Capsules
    • Metered-dose inhalers
    • Oils
    • Pills
    • Sprays
    • Suppositories
    • Tinctures
    • Topical oils/lotion
    • Transdermal patches
    • Other forms for topical application

    According to the proposer of House Bill 391, Tanner Magee, having marijuana in a smokeable form would be a way to give patients access to a more affordable medical marijuana option. In proposing the legislation, Magee stated that “We constantly heard stories of people who had the end of cancer, terminal cancer going through a lot of pain, or they have some sort of condition, and they have to try and pay. It’s not covered by insurance usually, so they have to pay exorbitant prices.”

    In giving an assenting nod to this legislation, the owner of H & W Drug Store Dispensary, one of the state’s licensed store dispensaries, Ruston Henry, stated in an interview that one of the impediments for some patients to access medical marijuana is price. He noted that raw flower is easier to process, making it cheaper, which means more people can access it. According to Magee, the doctors would be the ones to decide whether smokable cannabis is suitable for the patient. Acc

  • Louisiana Cannabis Dispensary Information

    If you or someone you know qualifies for a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, you’re likely wondering how you can obtain the prescribed amount of cannabis. As of right now, Louisiana only has nine dispensaries in the state. While this may be discouraging at first glance, there are some dispensaries that offer home delivery to medical cardholders.

    The current dispensaries in Louisiana are:

    ·   The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy in Alexandria

    ·   Capitol Wellness Solutions in Baton Rouge

    ·   Green Leaf Dispensary in Houma

    ·   The Apothecary Shoppe in Lafayette

    ·   Medicis Pharmacy in Lake Charles

    ·   Willow Pharmacy in Madisonville

    ·   H&W Drug Store in New Orleans

    ·   Hope Pharmacy in Shreveport

    ·   Delta Medmar in West Monroe

    Medical marijuana dispensaries in Louisiana are able to provide you will a wide array of marijuana products to best meet your needs and preferences in symptom alleviation. When visiting one of the above dispensaries, you’ll find a variety of smokeable marijuana flowers, RSO distillate syringes, metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), edibles, and tinctures.

    As soon as you have your medical marijuana card and prescription from your doctor, you are able to visit a dispensary and find the right product for you. Each dispensary employs people who will help you choose the right form of cannabis and will follow up with you to make sure your product of choice is meeting your needs!

  • Are There Other Rules and Regulations to Be Aware Of?

    In Louisiana, patients are not allowed to consume medical marijuana in public. Also, Louisiana laws do not have reciprocity provisions, so you need to be a resident of Louisiana to receive a recommendation and obtain medical cannabis.

    One impressive thing about Louisiana medical marijuana laws is that each batch of cannabis produced in the state has to be tested by an approved lab. These approved labs test samples from each collection for active ingredients such as THC, THCA, CBD, and CBDA. The labs also test the samples for:

    • Potency
    • Heavy metals,
    • Microbiological contaminants
    • Mycotoxins
    • Pesticides
    • Residual solvents

    This means that MMJ patients get access to high-quality, pure, and safe medical marijuana. These products must also contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose. You can take that as you may.

    Also, even though HB 819 allows physicians to recommend cannabis for any debilitating condition, some express qualifying conditions still exist. They include:

    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
    • Cancer
    • Chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease or fibromyalgia
    • Concussion
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Epilepsy
    • Glaucoma
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Hospice or palliative care
    • Huntington’s disease
    • Intractable pain
    • Lewy-body dementia
    • Motor-Neuron disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Seizure disorders
    • Severe muscle spasms
    • Spastic quadriplegia
    • Spasticity
    • Spinal muscular atrophy
    • Traumatic brain injury

  • Takeaway

    When asking the question, “is marijuana legal in Louisiana,” the answer is a little more complicated than many people prefer. Medical marijuana is fully legal in Louisiana as long as the person has a medical card that was recommended and prescribed by a licensed Louisiana doctor. However, recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state.

    While many people may be discouraged by the state of marijuana laws in Louisiana, it’s important to realize how much progress has been made over the last few years. Recognizing that smaller amounts of marijuana possession are now decriminalized in Louisiana can be seen as a mark for the win column for those in favor of legalization.

    In 2021, licensing legislation was proposed that would allow for personal cultivation and individuals to open up cannabis businesses. Of course, this would only take effect if recreational marijuana became legal in Louisiana. However, many people who are for legalization have seen this recent move as a sign of legalization to come.

    Regardless of what future cannabis laws look like in Louisiana, it’s essential to be as up-to-date as possible on the laws and regulations in place so you can make sure you are abiding by them. Following the rules in place now will send the right messages to those in charge of loosening the rules in the future.

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