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An Overview of Medical Marijuana Laws in Louisiana: What Does the Future Hold?



Did you know that medical marijuana has technically been legal in Louisiana since 1978? That’s right! But despite it being legal, it hasn’t always been accessible for various reasons. The history of medical marijuana in the Bayou State has been full of ups and downs, but with the recent passing of major pieces of legislation, there is more hope than ever.

In this blog post, we will discuss the current state of medical marijuana laws in Louisiana and what the future holds for this new industry!

Marijuana is still illegal in Louisiana 

Although Louisiana has recently passed laws allowing patients with certain medical conditions to have access to medical marijuana, it is still a criminal offense for any individual outside of this class to use the drug. 

All possession, sale, and use of marijuana without a valid doctor’s prescription is illegal in the state of Louisiana. Violators are subject to fines and jail time if they are found breaking the law. It is important to be familiar with these regulations so that individuals remain compliant within their respective states. 

Luckily, the most recent changes reduce punishment for possession significantly. Now, if you are caught with less than 14 grams of marijuana without a prescription, you will only owe a $100 fine and be required to appear in court. If you’re caught with more than 14 grams, it’s considered possession with intent to distribute, which means greater fines, and the possibility of jail time. 

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So the bottom line is: make sure you apply for a medical marijuana card in Louisiana before you think about smoking!

The process of getting a card is pretty simple 

Louisiana residents suffering from certain medical conditions may be eligible for a medical marijuana card, which will grant them legal access to medical cannabis. 

To receive such a card, the patient must first find a doctor who has been approved by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to recommend marijuana as part of their medical treatment. Following that, the patient should register with the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana and pay the applicable fees. 

Depending on their condition, they may also have to present additional documentation and proof of residency in order to become an authorized user. While it can seem like a lot of paperwork, having a card makes accessing medical cannabis much easier and more affordable than obtaining it without one.

Qualifying conditions abound 

In 1978, only two types of people could use medical marijuana: those with glaucoma, and those undergoing chemotherapy. Legislation has been passed many times since then, expanding the list of qualifying conditions. 

Today it includes cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, cancer, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are also included in the list of prescribed conditions in Louisiana. 

Doctors can also determine that a patient is eligible if they have severe or chronic pain that has been determined to be resistant to conventional medical treatments. Basically, doctors are at liberty to prescribe medical marijuana on a case-by-case basis. 

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You can find what you need at any dispensary

Louisiana has been at the forefront of pushing medical marijuana into the mainstream since they “technically” legalized it in 1978. It’s no surprise then that many different options have become available to those with a qualified doctor-approved condition. 

From the traditional smokable flower form to capsules, creams and metered-dose vaping cartridges, patients in Louisiana now have an array of choices to meet their needs. Testing and labeling protocols are regularly monitored by the state to ensure quality and safety for all consumers. 

While each product has unique effects, it is encouraging to see how far this medication has come and how much support it continues to receive from citizens of all backgrounds.

The future of medical marijuana in Louisiana 

The medical marijuana industry in Louisiana is still very new, and it will take some time for the laws to evolve. As of now, there is no legislation in place that allows the recreational use of marijuana. 

However, there are several bills currently under consideration, and if one of them passes, it may mean an even bigger change to the industry. If that happens, it could open up a whole new set of possibilities for those looking to utilize cannabis as a form of alternative medicine or relaxation.


Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular in Louisiana, and those with a qualifying condition can now access the medication they need legally. With an ever-expanding list of conditions, more people than ever are able to take advantage of what this plant has to offer!


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