2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations

After years of restrictive product access for Louisiana’s patients, Governor Edwards has signed HB 391 into law in June 2021. The bill finally allowed Louisiana’s patients to access smokable forms of cannabis from the state’s licensed providers.

ASA is encouraged by Louisiana’s addition of smokable flowers after years without it. While it is a strong step forward, ASA recommends that Louisiana’s legislature focuses their efforts on protecting the civil rights of patients. As it stands, the state does not protect a patient’s right to housing, employment, child custody, organ transplants, or against unfair discrimination in a roadside sobriety test based un their status as a patient. These are all essential protections to ensure safe access for patients who are likely to face discrimination from law enforcement and others. Lawmakers in the state should also consider allowing retailers to offer curbside pickup to patients and extending telehealth coverage to individuals beyond just those who have seen their doctor in person in the past year. Finally, now that the state is allowing smokable flowers, Louisiana lawmakers should look at allowing registered patients and caregivers to grow at home. This helps to increase the supply of medicine available to patients in the state and lowers costs.