Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
In 2015, Louisiana legalized medical marijuana with passage of Senate Bill 143. However, it took several years for the program to be fully operational. By 2018, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state opened its doors, and since then, the program has expanded. The Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program is regulated by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
As of 2021, Louisiana has licensed nine (9) medical marijuana pharmacies (dispensaries) and two (2) growers to serve the entire state to serve nearly 35,000 registered patients.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Cancer; Glaucoma; Parkinson’s disease; Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus; Acquired immune deficiency syndrome; 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).
Authorized Forms of Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Oils, extracts, tinctures, sprays, capsules, pills, solutions, suspension, gelatin-based chewables, lotions, transdermal patches, suppositories, and metered-dosed inhalation.
Upcoming Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
Currently, there are no applications available in Louisiana.
Under Louisiana law, no more than ten (10) pharmacies may obtain licenses to dispense marijuana within the state. Further, only existing pharmacies are allowed to dispense medical marijuana.
At this time, Louisiana State University and Southern University are the only two (2) entities responsible for cultivation of medical marijuana. They contract with one (1) third party firm who handles all aspects of grow, processing, testing, and transport of medical cannabis for the universities. The permit expires and can be renewed each year on July 1st, and the fee costs $100,000.
The Louisiana State Legislature convened its 2023 session on April 10th, 2023, to discuss:
- HB 620: If passed, it would set up the tax structure for adult-use cannabis sales once it is legalized and regulated;
- HB 286: if passed, it would expunge first-time possession records. This is an integral part of addressing the inequities of cannabis enforcement.
- HB 351: if passed, it would protect medical marijuana patients in terms of workers compensation and unemployment insurance.
- HB 467: if passed, it would allow the only two medical cannabis production licensees in the state (LSU and Southern) to contract with more than one third party, as well as increase the statewide number of medical cannabis dispensaries to thirty (30).
If you are interested in entering Louisiana’s Medical Cannabis Program, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your options!
Last updated June 6th, 2023