Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Legislation
In 1991 Louisiana legalized medical marijuana with Act No. 874. Unfortunately, the Act used the word “prescribe” which is disallowed by the Federal government since marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. This made doctors a target for federal law enforcement while stating no allowances for selling or possessing medical marijuana.
In 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed SB 271, creating a medical marijuana program, and being the first state in the deep south to create such a legalized program. The bill replaced the “prescribe” legalese from the 1991 medical marijuana Act No 874. SB 271 specifies that medical marijuana must be provided in process, non-smokable forms and distributed to patients through up to 10 pharmacies. LSU and Southern University were the first to become licensed marijuana production centers for the state, while allowing for one additional producer to be licensed.
In June 2018, HB 579 and HB 627 were signed, expanding the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana while also pushing LSU and Southern University to conduct research on the medical value of marijuana.
In 2018, the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners eliminated the 100 patient-maximum rule per licensed doctors under the state’s medical marijuana program. The board also removed a restriction that required patients to revisit their doctor every 9-days to renew orders for medical marijuana products.
In 2020, Louisiana passed HB 211 to protect banks and physicians, HB 418 to protect hospitals from marijuana-relation prosecution and HB 819 which further expanded the list of qualifying conditions to nearly any condition where a licensed physician believes that a patient may benefit from medical marijuana.
Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Cultivation & Possession Laws
Patients and caregivers may possess up to a one-month supply of medical marijuana, determined by their physician. Cultivation of marijuana is illegal in Louisiana, as medical marijuana is only legal in non-smokable forms.