Louisiana Medical (Therapeutic) Marijuana Program (LDH)

  1. Louisiana Cannabis
  2. Louisiana Medical Marijuana
  3. Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program

Apply For Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Online

What is the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program?

The Louisiana Medical (Therapeutic) Marijuana Program ensures legal and safe access to medical cannabis by residents with certain debilitating medical conditions. It was established when the state legislature passed Senate Bill 143 (Act No. 261) in 2015. Initially, the program administration was divided between the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, the state's Board of Medical Examiners, and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. However, in 2022, the sole regulation of the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program moved to the state's Department of Health (LDH).

The Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program does not operate a medical marijuana card system. Instead, qualifying medical cannabis patients only need physicians' recommendations to purchase medical cannabis products from state-licensed therapeutic pharmacies. In addition, there are no provisions for caregivers for adult patients in the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program. However, parents and legal guardians of patients who are minors may act as their caregivers.

How Old to Join the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program?

State cannabis laws require a person to be at least 18 years old before joining the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program independently. Nevertheless, qualifying patients may also enroll through their patients or legal guardians. Under-18 patients must, in addition to getting certified by physicians, obtain the recommendations of pediatric subspecialists licensed for medical conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder.

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program Qualifying Conditions

  • Intractable pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as:
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Parkison's disease
  • Huntington's disease
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia and sickle cell disease
  • Cancer
  • Seizure disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Crohn's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy

What Practitioners are Eligible to Recommend the Use of Medical Cannabis?

  • Physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Medical psychologists

Must a Practitioner Obtain a License Before Issuing a Medical Card Recommendation?

A nurse practitioner who wants to recommend patients for medical cannabis in Louisiana must be licensed to practice advanced registered nursing by the state's Board of Nursing (LSBN). Also, physicians and medical psychologists must have active licenses to practice medicine and medical psychology, respectively, from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME).

Do Physicians Need to Manage Patients Before Recommending Them for the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program?

Yes. In Louisiana, a medical practitioner may only recommend medical cannabis to patients with whom they share bona fide practitioner-patient relationships.

Do Physicians Have to Join the State’s Medical Marijuana Program/Registry to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients?

No. Healthcare practitioners are not required to register with the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program to recommend qualifying patients for medical cannabis use. They only need to be licensed by their respective state boards.

Can a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program Practitioner Use Telemedicine for Patient Assessment?

Yes. Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program physicians, nurses, and medical psychologists can examine qualifying cannabis patients and recommend the use of medical marijuana for them via telemedicine.

How to Find Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program Doctors

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) does not have a list of physicians, nurse practitioners, or medical psychologists who can recommend patients for the state's Medical Marijuana Program. However, qualifying patients can search for licensed medical practitioners on their respective state boards, establish patient-practitioner relationships, and obtain recommendations from them.

How to Apply for the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program

  • Set an appointment with a Louisiana-licensed medical provider with a marijuana registration permit for medical assessment
  • During the appointment, provide the certifying practitioner with all necessary information and documents, including medical records, proof of Louisiana residency, and valid government-issued ID
  • If the patient is confirmed eligible for medical cannabis, the medical provider will recommend them for medical marijuana treatment and send the recommendation to the patient's preferred therapeutic marijuana pharmacy (medical cannabis dispensary)
  • If required, the patient may collect a copy of the recommendation issued by their healthcare practitioner
  • Call (225) 342-4339 or send an email to MedicalMarijuana@la.gov for further inquiries on how to join the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program
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