Louisiana Legal Information
In 2015, Louisiana attempted to update it dormant medical cannabis law with the passage of SB 143, the Alison Neustrom Act. While a good symbolic step for the state to take, it did not do anything to help the patients of the state have safe and legal access to medical cannabis therapy. The state regrettably used the term “prescribe” rather than “recommend” in its physician authorizing language, but due to the federal Schedule I status of cannabis, no physician will be able to write prescriptions unless there is a major change at the federal level.
However, in 2016, the state passed and signed a pair of bills - SB 271 and SB 180. The pair of bills fixes the “prescription” language issue, establishes legal protection for patients, and expands the qualifying conditions. Legal protections for producers and dispensers is left unaddressed, which could prevent the program from functioning.
In This Section
Louisiana has one medical cannabis bill, though they have not yet drafted rules and regulations.
A patient that is clinically diagnosed with cancer, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis may obtain medical cannabis pursuant to a recommendation of a Louisiana physician that is licensed and in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners.
Any physician who is domiciled in Louisiana and licensed and in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners may recommend medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.