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Only qualifying patients registered in the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program can buy medical cannabis at state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Eligible conditions for therapeutic (medical) cannabis treatment in Louisiana, as stated in Act 286, include the following:
Although Louisiana does not issue medical marijuana cards, House Bill 696 permits qualifying medical cannabis patients in the state to obtain physicians' recommendations online via telemedicine services.
To participate in the Louisiana therapeutic marijuana program, a qualifying patient must meet a licensed physician who has a permit for medical marijuana registration. During the meeting, the patient's medical condition will be discussed, and if the physician determines that the patient qualifies for therapeutic marijuana treatment, they will issue a recommendation. This recommendation entitles the patient to medical marijuana purchase at their preferred Louisiana-licensed therapeutic cannabis pharmacy.
Yes, only Louisiana residents can participate in the state’s medical marijuana program. Although the Louisiana Therapeutic Marijuana Program does not issue medical marijuana cards, qualifying patients' proof of state residency is a requirement for acceptance into the program.
While Louisiana does not issue a medical marijuana card, there is no state fee for obtaining a physician's recommendation for medical cannabis. However, a physician may charge a fee for issuing a medical cannabis certificate, and the cost depends on the physician. Generally, qualifying patients in Louisiana pay an average of $200 to licensed physicians with marijuana registration permits for consultations. However, most physicians will not bill patients unless they qualify for a medical marijuana certificate.
In Louisiana, the primary thing a qualifying patient needs to visit the medical marijuana dispensary selected during certification is a state-issued identification card. Typically, after a licensed physician recommends a patient for medical marijuana, the patient's name is entered into the state database of medical cannabis patients. All licensed therapeutic cannabis pharmacies in Louisiana can access this database. Additionally, patients are advised to hold sufficient cash for purchases when visiting medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
Because it is considered a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, no one can prescribe medical marijuana in Louisiana. However, Under Senate Bill 271, medical marijuana physicians in Louisiana can recommend medical cannabis to patients who qualify for cannabis therapy. To be able to recommend medical cannabis to a patient in the state, a physician must satisfy the following criteria:
Minors under 18 years who qualify for medical marijuana in Louisiana cannot apply for medical marijuana certificates on their own. They may only obtain certification for medical cannabis through their legal guardians or parents who will serve as their caregivers. A minor patient with autism spectrum disorder must obtain a medical marijuana certification from a pediatrician or a pediatric subspecialist licensed to practice in the state.
Yes. In Louisiana, qualifying patients aged 18 and over can get a medical marijuana certificate from state-licensed doctors with marijuana registration permits. Once obtained, the certification enables them to purchase medical cannabis legally from state-licensed therapeutic cannabis pharmacies, otherwise known as medical marijuana dispensaries.
A doctor's recommendation/certification for medical marijuana in Louisiana is valid for only one year and must be renewed annually. A certificate holder can return to the previous physician who issued the expiring certificate or switch to a new doctor. Whichever way, there must be a bona fide physician-patient relationship for a doctor to be able to renew a patient's medical marijuana certificate. The Louisiana medical cannabis certificate renewal process is not different from the initial process of obtaining a doctor's recommendation and choosing a preferred medical marijuana dispensary. Certificate holders should expect to pay a fee as determined by the physician.
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana. Enacted in 2015, Senate Bill 143 (Act No. 261) permitted the use of cannabis for therapeutic use in the state. This Act does not prevent persons convicted of felonies from registering for medical cannabis in Louisiana. The state has a medical marijuana program established following the passage of Senate Bill 143. Under this bill, Louisiana-licensed physicians can recommend medical cannabis to patients with certain debilitating conditions. The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) oversees the state's medical marijuana program. While smokable and edible forms of medical cannabis are permitted in Louisiana, the state prohibits vapes. However, qualifying patients may use a metered-dose inhaler.
No. Louisiana medical marijuana laws prohibit medical cannabis patients from cultivating their own marijuana. Their only legal way to access medicinal cannabis is via state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Licensed marijuana production facilities are the only entities allowed to grow medical cannabis under Louisiana medical cannabis laws. The state currently has two approved marijuana growers.
Currently, the medical marijuana program in Louisiana does not permit qualifying patients to designate caregivers. However, state law allows parents and legal guardians of minor patients under 18 years to serve as their caregivers. Parents or guardians of minors must accompany them to licensed physicians for consultation for medical cannabis recommendations. They are also required to purchase medical marijuana at licensed therapeutic marijuana pharmacies on their behalf.
Visiting cannabis patients with medical marijuana cards or equivalents from some other states, including the following, can get medical cannabis from Montana-licensed dispensaries, subject to House Bill 135 provisions:
Yes, patients' records of their medical cannabis treatments in Louisiana must be kept private in line with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Registered cannabis patients' information, including conversations with their doctors about their treatments, must remain protected and not be disclosed improperly. However, in certain instances, law enforcement and patients' employers may be able to access medical cannabis records. In such cases, patients have a right to get reports on why and when their information was disclosed.
No. Health insurance does not cover medical marijuana in Louisiana.
A qualifying patient's medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana allows them to purchase up to a 30-day supply of medical cannabis, subject to their physician's approved dosage.
Yes, a registered medical cannabis patient can go to a dispensary without a medical marijuana card in Louisiana. Typically, a licensed physician sends a patient’s medical marijuana certification to their preferred dispensary after certifying them as eligible for medical marijuana treatment.