Medical Marijuana Access in Louisiana Update
Starting this August, doctors in Louisiana will be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients they believe will benefit from it. This is by far different than the current laws, allowing recommendations only for those suffering from major health issues.
With this expansion of Louisiana’s therapeutic cannabis program, more Louisiana residents will be granted access to medical marijuana. Governor John Bel Edwards has officially signed this ruling into law, and this amendment will take effect in August.
Currently, doctors cannot recommend medical marijuana to anyone. The patient must need cannabis for diseases and disorders, including cancer, epilepsy, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and glaucoma.
The proposal came from Republican Rep. Larry Bagely, requesting to allow therapeutic cannabis recommendation for any condition that a doctor deems “debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat.”
This bill was agreed upon by the House and Senate during the regular session that ended at the start of June. The Senate voted 28-6 on this measure, while the House voted 75-16. The announcement regarding the change was made on Monday by the Democratic governor after he signed the bill into law.
Since the introduction of the therapeutic cannabis program in Louisiana, the growing pains relating to the medical market and patient group that’s not allowed to use health insurance to cover cannabis costs have been troubling. The issue here is that many patients find that the cost of therapeutic cannabis is too expensive, meaning they cannot afford to purchase their medication, even after waiting years for access to it.
As these prohibitions phase-out, more patients in Louisiana will have access to the cannabis they need.