After years of campaigning for medical marijuana legalization, Louisiana residents will finally have access to the treatment they need. Medical marijuana will be available at nine select pharmacies in just a few days.
The initial batches of medical marijuana were produced by GB Sciences of Louisiana (GBSL), a sub-contractor of Louisiana State University (LSU). This cannabis has been tested by to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). The LDAF stated, “We are pleased to announce that LSU-GBSL’s final medical marijuana product has passed all testing and is cleared for immediate release to the medical marijuana pharmacies.”
Now that the testing has been complete, the cannabis can safely be sold in state dispensaries. Patients who fit Louisiana’s criteria for medical marijuana prescriptions will be able to pick up their weed at select pharmacies starting Tuesday. John Davis, head of GBSL, expressed that, “I can’t tell you how excited we are for patients.”
Where to Get Weed in Louisiana
The only other licensed grower in Louisiana is Southern University (SU). Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said, “We look forward to continuing our working relationship with LSU-GBSL and SU-ADB/ILERA as we move into the next phase of the program.”
Nine pharmacies appointed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy have been licensed to sell medical marijuana products in Louisiana. Residents are only permitted to shop at these dispensaries if they possess a valid medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed doctor with a therapeutic marijuana registration. No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter these pharmacies unless they have a valid medical marijuana recommendation.
Becoming a Medical Marijuana Patient in Louisiana
Becoming a registered medical marijuana patient in Louisiana is quite difficult. The state only permits medical cannabis use for very specific conditions. Some qualifying conditions include cancer, epilepsy, and PTSD.
Additionally, medical marijuana patients are also limited in the ways that they can consume their medicine. According to state law, medical marijuana can’t be in “raw form or smoked.” The only accepted forms of medical marijuana in Louisiana are oils, extracts, tinctures, sprays, capsules, pills, solutions, suspensions, gelatin-based chewables, lotions, transdermal patches, and suppositories. In June, Louisiana lawmakers also approved the use of cannabis inhalers to treat asthma.
Home cultivation is unfortunately still illegal in Louisiana. Patients hoping to grow their own medical marijuana and skip the pharmacy lines will have to wait. According to the LDAF, this bill “does not permit home-grow of medical marijuana. Only a registered licensee will be allowed to grow medical marijuana.” Louisiana residents can learn more and apply for a medical recommendation through the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners.
The Bright Future of A Green Louisiana
This legislation for medical marijuana was passed by Louisiana lawmakers four years ago. Unfortunately, a number of delays has kept it from reaching the patients in desperate need. Soon, medical cannabis use will finally be permitted in the state, and people have started to celebrate.
Jesse McCormick, executive director of the Louisiana Association for Therapeutic Alternatives, remarked, “This has been a longtime coming. This is for all the patients, advocates, elected officials, two universities, department staff, employees, volunteers and anyone who took the risk to make this historic undertaking a reality. It is a great day for Louisiana.”
Louisiana is currently in the infancy of its marijuana legalization compared to other states. As the culture of cannabis starts to flourish throughout the U.S., Louisiana residents might one day see more lenient laws regarding the plant.