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Louisiana arguably has one of the more restrictive full-spectrum medical cannabis programs in the country. Passed in 2015 and signed into law in 2016, the law only allows for access for individuals with 14 different medical conditions, which include PTSD, seizures, glaucoma, cancer, autism, and multiple sclerosis. These patients do not have the right to grow at home and have been waiting for many years for dispensaries to open.
Patients with these conditions can receive a medical recommendation to obtain, possess, and use up to a 30-day supply of cannabis. The law specifically prohibits smokable cannabis, which has certainly caused some hiccups in the state’s program, and there are very rigorous testing requirements in place that have further complicated rolling out the program.
There are a handful of registered dispensaries in the state, all of which may only source their cannabis products through the same two suppliers. Now, one of those suppliers, GB Sciences, has finally finished the state-mandated testing process and can begin distributing cannabis to various dispensaries. As soon as Tuesday, August 6th, 2019, Louisiana dispensaries will begin receiving cannabis medicines, potentially including cannabis inhalers. That means that as of next week, medical cannabis patients in Louisiana may finally be able to legally access their medicine.
Other forms of cannabis medicine available under the law will include oils, pills, liquid suspensions, and topical cannabis products. The first shipment may only include a liquid tincture, although details aren’t exactly clear at this time.
It is certainly exciting for the individuals who do qualify under Louisiana’s restrictive program that they will finally have access to the medicine promised to them almost four years ago. It would be much better if the state would consider more comprehensive cannabis reform, as well as the expansion of their program to make it more reasonably accessible, as it is currently quite restrictive.
For previous Ladybud articles about Louisiana, click here.