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