Just a few years ago, some three years back, you wouldn’t have heard anybody in Louisiana asking, “Who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana?” But, today, it’s a question that seems to be on every LA resident’s mind. As always, Elevate is on hand to provide you with all the tidbits you need to navigate the world of medical marijuana in Louisiana.

who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana

Is medical marijuana legal in Louisiana? Yes! But, is recreational marijuana? Nope

To be on the better side of the law, it is important that you bear the difference in mind at all times. The difference is why this post is specifically providing answers to who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana – not recreational cannabis. So, how is it that medical marijuana became legal in Louisiana, and why is there so much buzz around it recently?

For as far back as 1978, Louisiana had the first enactment of therapeutic marijuana legislation.  And, in 1991, Act No. 874 further legalized medical marijuana. (Nope, you read that right: legalization back in ‘91.)

Although these laws existed, they did not do a lot to protect the rights of patients and doctors. The state didn’t outline any regulations for patients, cannabis education, or anything of the like. Hence, prescribing or seeking medical marijuana or therapeutic marijuana was not worth the risk for neither doctors nor patients. So, there really wasn’t legal MMJ in LA, despite legislation saying otherwise.

Finally, after decades of these muddy, confusing laws, the state decided to make many changes across various matters covered by the Louisiana medical marijuana law. This included describing the medical conditions that qualify patients for medical cannabis. 

In 2015, former governor Bobby Jindal signed HB 149 (House Bill 149), which reduced penalties for cannabis possession and provided models for dispensing medical marijuana. And this year, Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 652, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

Now, we have nine authorized medical marijuana dispensaries statewide, catering to patients needing the potency of medical marijuana for their conditions. Hurray! Right?

Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

Now, back to the question: Who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana? Adults (persons over 18 years of age)! Well, not just any adult, but one who is verifiably a Louisiana resident and has any of the qualifying medical conditions the state’s deemed acceptable. You can use the LA state ID card or driver’s license as proof of residency. 

According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana cards in the Bayou State include:

Patients with any of these conditions can obtain a recommendation from a state-authorized doctor to use medical cannabis for treatment purposes. More so, patients with a doctor’s certification or recommendation are qualified for a medical marijuana card, which provides access to purchase medical marijuana and MMJ products available in authorized dispensaries.

who qualifies for medical marijuana in louisiana

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Regulations

As much as medical marijuana is now legal and open to qualified patients in LA, commercialization, and accessibility are not as flexible as in most other legal states. 

At the moment, the Louisiana pharmacy board has approved nine pharmacies as the authorized dispensaries for non-smokable medical marijuana in the state. These dispensaries may provide medical cannabis in a form to be administered by metered-dose inhaler. This means that patients have very few dispensaries to choose from, and until January 2022, none of them will be offering smokable medical cannabis for patients who might prefer them.

Aside from knowing who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana, there are a few regulations you need to be aware of while getting accustomed to the world of marijuana in the Creole State. We’ve broken them down for you below.

Possession limits

Although very recent Louisianan laws decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed by reducing penalties to a fine of up to $100 for possessions up to 14 grams, the penalties for possessing over 14 grams of weed remain harsh. Be aware! 

If you’re a medical patient, you can possess up to one month’s supply of MMJ. You will discuss this amount with your physician as they recommend the best products for your complications.

Cultivation law

The law does not allow individuals to grow marijuana at home or any other place. Only two institutions – Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Southern University Agricultural Center – have the license to grow and cultivate medical marijuana in LA.

Simply put, there’s absolutely no at-home cultivation in Louisiana, even if you’re a medical patient. 

Reciprocity

The state of Louisiana does not allow for medical cannabis reciprocity. That is, you cannot purchase medical marijuana in LA using another state’s medical marijuana card. If you didn’t get your medical card in LA, you would not count as someone who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana.

Caregivers

At the moment, patients cannot appoint a caregiver to help them administer or purchase cannabis. Instead, state-licensed caregivers take up that role.

How Do You Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana?

To qualify for a Louisiana MMJ card, patients need to first obtain a recommendation from a state-licensed physician. A patient who qualifies for medical marijuana in Louisiana after a medical marijuana evaluation can then apply for the card, which grants them access to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries.

But… How do you find a state-licensed physician in the first place? There’s where Elevate Holistics helps out.

Elevate Holistics is Coming to Louisiana Soon!

Right now, the state of Louisiana only allows 100 patients per licensed medical marijuana physician. Along with other difficulties experienced while obtaining a medical marijuana card, Louisiana patients have found this to be a challenge that makes the whole process even more daunting. At Elevate Holistics, we are doing all the groundwork necessary to ensure that patients find it a lot easier to obtain an MMJ card and access medical cannabis for their treatments. 

Our services will allow you to get linked to licensed physicians, get your medical evaluation, and process your MMJ card without any hassle, all from the comfort of your home and at the most affordable price in Louisiana. Though our online services haven’t started quite yet, we’re in the process of unveiling them soon. This way, you’ll always have a board-qualified, cannabis expert physician to help you get the recommendation you need — all online. 

 

Want to know more about medical marijuana in Louisiana? Read our MMJ FAQs here. We answer all your questions!

Curious about Louisiana marijuana laws? We've got a whole blog post about them.

Can't wait until we start LA operations? We get it. Book an appointment through our partners at Heally, instead. Just click here.