Will Louisiana Be The First Medical Marijuana Market In The South?
On Monday, May 4, Louisiana Legislature passed a bill that would allow a small number of dispensaries and one grow site to open in the state. So, what does this mean for Louisiana?
According to NOLA.com the Louisiana Senate "rubber-stamped the legislation, which spells out how the state's medical marijuana industry would work, by a vote of 22-13. If the bill is adopted into law, those with a prescription could obtain the drug in non-smokable form at one of 10 dispensaries across the state. The version of the bill that passed Monday authorizes one growing site. It also restricts the use of medical marijuana to patients suffering from glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia and for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. "
Nearly 37 years ago the Legislature legalized marijuana for medical purposes, but The Department of Health and Hospitals never wrote rules for dispensing it. What that means is that Doctors can prescribe medical marijuana, patients can legally use it, but patients can't access it in the state legally. In order to set rules for dispensing medical marijuana three separate agencies would have to write rules for the prescriptions, dispensaries, and grow sites. The Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners would set rules about prescriptions, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy would set rules about dispensaries; and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture would set rules for a single grow site.
This legislation will now move to the house for further consideration and Gov. Bobby Jindal has indicated he’ll sign the legislation as long as the market is tightly regulated.