Louisiana Marijuana Laws
Before we get into the details, it’s important to know that outside of the Louisiana medical marijuana program, marijuana is illegal. If you’re caught with a mere half ounce of marijuana and you don’t have a valid medical marijuana card (or the product doesn’t have a state tax stamp on it) you could risk spending a couple of weeks in jail and being charged a $300 fine. That’s on top of having a permanent criminal record. Anything over a half ounce up to two and a half pounds and you risk spending up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. And it just goes up from there. Second offense punishments are even harsher.
Furthermore, Louisiana has strict drugged driving laws. If you’re caught driving with certain levels of THC in your system, you risk not only fines and a criminal record, but also the loss of your license for a period of time.
The good news is some local jurisdictions in Louisiana have either fully or partially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Still, given the risks involved with using marijuana in Louisiana, it’s highly advisable that you get a medical marijuana card. Although this provides you with legal protection and a source of lab tested cannabis products, there are some downsides. For one, the sale of dried, smokable buds is prohibited as is any other method of inhalation.
So, that being said, let’s get on with how to get your card and what you can buy with it.
Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Before we say anything else on this topic be aware that medical marijuana sales are not expected to begin in Louisiana until June of 2019.
The Louisiana State Legislature passed Act 261 in 2015 officially legalizing medical marijuana. Originally, patients had the legal way to purchase their medication. To solve this problem SB 35 set the stage for the legal production and sale of medical marijuana in the state.
The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy sets the rules for dispensaries and issues permits to dispensaries in nine regions throughout the state. In the future, the Board may issue a 10th permit if demand is high in that region.
In order to be as compliant as possible with federal laws, doctors “recommend” medical marijuana rather than prescribing it.
How to Get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card
Actually, patients in Louisiana are not required to register with the state, nor to carry a medical marijuana card. Rather, they must obtain a recommendation from a state-certified physician.
The first step in getting a medical marijuana recommendation in Louisiana is to talk to a doctor who is authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
If your physician does not offer this service you’ll need to gather your medical records from your current doctor and bring them to your exam.
Get Started Now!
Louisiana Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions
Marijuana has been shown time and again to provide medicinal benefits such as relief from pain, nausea, seizures, and much more.
Here is a list of Louisiana medical marijuana qualifying conditions:
Furthermore, autism patients may qualify for cannabis medicine if they are experiencing if they show severe self-stimulatory or repetitive behavior that jeopardizes the patient’s physical health, or an inability to communicate, or avoidance of other people that puts the patient’s physical health in danger, among other conditions.
Additional Louisiana Medical Marijuana Rules
There are a few rules you should know about as you go through the process of getting your medical marijuana card and purchasing permitted marijuana products in Louisiana.
Possession limits – Qualified patients are permitted to purchase up to a 30-day supply of non-smokable preparations of marijuana as set by their recommending physician.
Home cultivation – Growing your own cannabis is not permitted. Only two entities are licensed to produce marijuana in the state of Louisiana.
Caregivers – Louisiana’s medical marijuana program does not yet allow patients to designate a caregiver to purchase and/or administer marijuana medications. And home delivery is not yet an option. That means if you cannot get to a dispensary to purchase medical marijuana you are unfortunately out of luck.
Reciprocity – Patients licensed to use medical marijuana in other states will not be allowed to purchase and use marijuana in Louisiana.
Doctors – Licensed physicians are only allowed to serve up to 100 patients.
Medical Marijuana Products Available in Louisiana
The Pharmacy Board also regulates the types of marijuana medications that dispensaries and pharmacies are allowed to sell.
Unfortunately, raw and dried cannabis is prohibited as are any products meant for smoking or vaping such as hashish or concentrates.
There are the medical marijuana products which are permitted under Louisiana’s medical marijuana program:
● Cannabis Extracts and Oils
● Tinctures, Solutions, and Suspensions
Furthermore, as of May 2019, a bill adding atomizing inhalers passed through the house and might be added in 2019.
We should also mention here that low- and zero-THC products such as CBD oil, which is produced from hemp rather than marijuana, can be purchased at shops throughout the state. They can also be purchased online and delivered to your home. A medical recommendation is not required to purchase CBD products.
CBD oil made from hemp is essentially devoid of THC, the buzz-inducing component of marijuana. Because it’s free of THC, CBD oil is non-intoxicating.
Visit CBDbay.app for a list of shops where you can purchase legal CBD products.
Dispensaries Where You Can Purchase Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
When medical marijuana finally becomes available in Louisiana, you’ll be able to purchase medicine at nine dispensaries located throughout the state.
If you’re interested in low- or zero-THC products such as CBD oils, edibles, capsules and so forth, visit CBDbay.app