With nearly two dozen states legalizing adult-use cannabis across the US, Southern states are steadily following suit.
While the South is yet to see legal recreational cannabis, states like Louisiana have implemented thorough medical programs and laws decriminalizing possession of low amounts.
To much surprise, weed is legal in Louisiana. However, it is only legal for medical use, and can only be purchased by patients with a valid medical card and prescription from a licensed doctor. Medical marijuana can only be purchased at state-approved dispensaries.
The state first legalized medical marijuana in 1991, but dispensing, selling, or possessing it still remained illegal.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Louisiana implemented a comprehensive medical cannabis program, making it the first state in the Deep South to do so.
This legislation, SB 271, mandated that medical marijuana could only be provided in non-smokable forms; additionally, only up to 10 pharmacies could distribute medical cannabis.
However, issues with legislative and law changes, supply availability, and testing laboratories further delayed the implementation of the program.
In 2018, the signing of HB 579 and HB 627 expanded the medical program, adding more qualifying conditions and calling on LSU and Southern University to conduct research on marijuana’s medical benefits.
In 2020, multiple new laws were passed in 2020:
- HB 211 — protects banks and physicians.
- HB 418 — protects hospitals from state marijuana-related prosecution.
- HB 819 — expanded the list of qualifying conditions, allowing physicians to recommend cannabis for any debilitating condition they are qualified to treat if they deem it will benefit the patient.
Starting January 2022, smokable cannabis (aka flower or “raw or crude” cannabis) became medically legal, forming the medical marijuana program we see today in Louisiana.
Is Recreational Weed Legal In Louisiana?
Recreational use and sales remain illegal, but possession of small amounts is decriminalized. Possession of up to 14 grams is a misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time; the maximum fine is $100.
For first offenders, possession between 14 grams and 2.5 pounds is a misdemeanor but can result in up to 6 months of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500.
Possession of any amount over 2.5 pounds is a felony and may result in two to 40 years imprisonment, with fines ranging from $30,000 to one million.
Repeated offenders may receive harsher sentences.
Is It Legal To Cultivate Cannabis In Louisiana?
Distributing or cultivating cannabis remains completely illegal and will result in a felony, no matter the amount. Jail time ranges from five to 90 years, with fines ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.
How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Louisiana
To purchase legal cannabis in Louisiana, you must have a valid medical card and prescription given by a licensed doctor. Proof of residency and a valid ID is required when applying.
Acceptable documents include:
- Copy of driver’s license
- State ID
- Vehicle registration
- Voter’s registration
- Correspondence from another state agency with the current state or a current car insurance bill.
There is a list of qualifying conditions. However, physicians may recommend cannabis to anyone with a debilitating condition they believe will benefit from it.
Qualifying conditions include:
- Chronic Pain
- Insomnia / Trouble Sleeping
- Muscle Spasm
- Migraines / Headaches
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia or sickle cell disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Hospice or palliative care
- Huntington’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Lewy-body dementia
- Motor-neuron disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure disorders
- Spastic quadriplegia
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Traumatic brain injury
What Kind Of Weed Can Be Purchased In Louisiana?
Most forms of cannabis can be found in the state, including:
- Extracts / Oils
- Capsules / Pills
- Metered-dose inhalers
- Topical oils and lotions
- Transdermal patches
Where To Purchase Legal Weed In Louisiana
Patients that hold medical marijuana cards may purchase weed from licensed dispensaries only. Currently, there are nine licensed cannabis dispensaries in Louisiana.
You must be over 18 years of age to purchase medical marijuana. Patients under 18 years of age can receive a medical marijuana card but must have a designated caregiver to purchase the medication.
Patients have a limit on the amount they are able to purchase based on the doctor’s recommendation. The amount is monitored and recorded in the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Tracking System.
Get A Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card At TeleLeaf
The TeleLeaf medical marijuana service establishes a connection between you, the patient, and a licensed doctor. We have the best doctors who are willing, able, licensed, and trained to recommend medical marijuana.
Our telemedicine site provides a convenient way for you to apply for a Louisiana medical marijuana card without having to leave your home.
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, simply fill out the registration form on our website.
Our team and doctors are dedicated to helping you live happier, healthier, and more productive lives with medical cannabis.
Contact us now to get a Louisiana medical cannabis card online today!