Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana

  1. Louisiana Cannabis
  2. Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card
  3. Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in Louisiana?

Under Louisiana’s Therapeutic Marijuana Program, there are 26 specific qualifying medical conditions that are eligible for medical marijuana treatment. The state also makes conditions requiring hospice care or palliative care eligible for the therapeutic use of marijuana.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Louisiana 2024

Louisiana recognizes the following qualifying medical conditions for the therapeutic use of marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Huntington's disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV+)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Spasticity
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Intractable pain
  • Crohn's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder presenting with repetitive or continuous behavior likely to cause self-injury or jeopardize the physical health of individual with autism
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion diagnosed by an authorized physician
  • Chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain caused by sickle cell disease

In addition to these, any condition requiring a patient to receive hospice care or palliative care is a qualifying condition in Louisiana. Lastly, the state allows authorized clinicians to recommend medical marijuana for any condition they deem debilitating.

Does Louisiana Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

Yes. Louisiana has updated its list of qualifying conditions since the inception of its medical marijuana program in 2015. On August 1, 2020, it expanded the list with the signing of HB 819 into law. This bill added neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. It also added chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and physician-diagnosed concussion. Lastly, HB 819 left Louisiana’s list of qualifying conditions open-ended by authorizing physicians to recommend medical marijuana for any medical condition they deem debilitating to their patients.

Does Louisiana Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

While physicians can only recommend medical marijuana for qualifying conditions in Louisiana, the state’s cannabis law also empowers them to decide which conditions are debilitating enough to benefit from the therapeutic use of cannabis. Therefore, Louisiana physicians can recommend medical cannabis for some conditions not mentioned on the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

Yes. In Louisiana, a physician’s recommendation serves the dual purpose of certifying a patient for medical marijuana use and serving as a medical cannabis card. Patients have to present their recommendations at licensed dispensaries to purchase medical cannabis in the state. Louisiana recognizes medical marijuana recommendations issued by:

  • Physicians licensed by, and in good standing with, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Nurse practitioners licensed by, in good standing with, and given prescriptive authority by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing
  • Medical psychologists licensed by, and in good standing with, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

The state also requires recommending healthcare providers to have bona fide provider-patient relationships with the patients they are certifying for medical marijuana. Note that Louisiana mandates an eligible medical provider recommending medical marijuana for a minor with autism to consult with a pediatric subspecialist.

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana?

In addition to obtaining a medical recommendation from an eligible state-licensed medical provider, Louisiana requires anyone seeking a medical provider recommendation for medical marijuana to be a resident of the state. However, out-of-state patients can purchase marijuana in Louisiana dispensaries if they have valid medical marijuana cards from their home states.

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