Louisiana has a medical marijuana program that allows state sanctioned growers to produce cannabis oil for qualifying patients.
Louisiana first legalized medical marijuana in 1987. Gov. Edwin Edwards signed a law legalizing medical marijuana for glaucoma patients and those undergoing chemotherapy. In 1991, an addendum to the bill was passed, adding spastic quadriplegia to the list of conditions. The legislature also set a deadline for the health department to promulgate the new rules by January 1992. In 1994, the health department finally approved the first physician to prescribe medical marijuana.
In 2014, State Sen. Fred Mills sponsored Senate Bill 541 which would establish a framework for legal medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The bill outlined everything from prescriptions to dispensaries to cultivation. The bill died in the committee after heavy opposition from the local police association and state Attorney General.
In 2015, Sen. Fred Mills sponsored another bill, Senate Bill 143, which would similar to his last bill, create a legal medical marijuana dispensary system in the state. This time around, three agencies would be in charge of adopting the regulations. It would only be available in non-smokable forms. There was little opposition this time around, and the bill was signed by Gov. Edwin Edwards on May 20th, 2016.
Other conditions have been added, such as seizure disorders, HIV, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and other diseases. The bill sets a deadline of September 1st, 2016 for LSU to decide if it wishes to act the state sanctioned cultivator. The bill also reworks some language of the previous bill by addressing doctor’s to “recommend” the use of medical marijuana rather than “prescribe” it – which is currently federally illegal.
List of qualifying conditions:
- Chron’s disease
- Epilepsy / Seizure Disorders
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis