Medical cannabis in Louisiana faces uphill battle against strict regulations

Advocates are pushing to expand the state's list of qualifying conditions, which could make its marijuana industry more sustainable by expanding the pool of patients.

As Louisiana's medical marijuana program is slowly ramping up, dispensary owners are beginning to have doubts about whether their businesses can succeed in the face of the state's restrictive regulations.


Louisiana OKs medical marijuana for chronic pain, PTSD and more

Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is about to exponentially bigger, thanks to a House committee vote earlier this week.

By an 8-4 vote, the committee agreed to add four new qualifying conditions for patients: chronic pain, PTSD, glaucoma and muscle spasms.

In 2016, the state passed a law allowing the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy.

By adding the four new ailments, it is expected the number of medical marijuana patients will skyrocket.

According to 2016 data, here are the top reasons registered patients give for cannabis treatment in all states that have programs:


This state will soon allow medical marijuana for autistic children

Medical marijuana for autistic children could soon be a reality for this southern state.

Wednesday marked the first step in getting Louisiana children living with autism access to medical marijuana. A committee of Louisiana lawmakers passed an expansion of state medical marijuana law that broadens who will have access to cannabis treatment.

This could mean that this state will soon allow medical marijuana for autistic children.

The Expanded Bill


Decision on New Orleans marijuana pharmacy permit postponed until April

The Louisiana Pharmacy Board postponed awarding a permit for a medical marijuana pharmacy to operate in the metro New Orleans area during its meeting Tuesday (March 27) in Baton Rouge. Instead, the board took all of the applications, including two that are seeking to open dispensaries in Metairie, under advisement until April 17.

The 17-member board, which state law mandated to oversee the permit process, has said it will issue operating permits to one pharmacy in each of the state's nine designated health care regions. A 10th permit will be issued as needed.


Medical marijuana pharmacies set to open throughout Louisiana, possibly within months

Local business people, doctors and pharmacists from throughout the state, many of whom have partnered with out-of-state marijuana industry consultants and experts, have lined up to get 10 exclusive medical marijuana pharmacy permits to be issued by the state's pharmacy board.

Pharmacies throughout Louisiana could open in the coming months if the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy hands out licenses at its upcoming March meeting.

A selection committee in January interviewed the applicants for each of the nine regions that will have a medical marijuana pharmacy, and ranked the applicants in all but two of those regions. The board is slated to hand out nine permits — one for each of the designated regions throughout Louisiana — plus a 10th later in a high-demand area.


Bill filed seeking to see marijuana legalized and taxed in Louisiana

Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan is seeking to introduce a bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and set up a way to tax the sale of cannabis. Jordan says this legislation could help with the state’s constant budget deficits.


This city just loosened penalties for marijuana charges

With action by the town council in Baton Rouge, this city just loosened penalties for marijuana charges. On  February 28, the East Baton Rouge Town Council voted to reduce the penalties for cannabis possession. The new provisions would go into effect 30 days after a signature from Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

Broome Responds To Measure


Future of medical marijuana in Louisiana is in limbo

Louisiana's medical marijuana program is just getting off the ground, with plans to have products available by this summer. However, the future of that now hangs in limbo.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he's rescinding an Obama Administration policy that helped pave the way for legal marijuana in a growing number of states. The decision leaves programs, like the L.S.U. Ag Center's Therapeutic Cannabis Program, with more questions than answers.


Researchers investigate cannabis compounds to treat Dementia

A few times a day, 92-year-old Lucy Hanson takes a little capsule; in it is medical marijuana.

“They call it my happy pill and I call it my happy pill,” Hanson laughs.

It’s hard to believe when you talk to her now but, four years ago, Lucy was confused, falling down and speaking gibberish. She often lay in bed and would make no eye contact with her family or friends.

Her daughter brought her to a neurology clinic where specialists ran diagnostic tests and looked over all of her medications. They said the problems were not with her prescription drugs.

“They came back with a diagnosis of advanced dementia,” said her youngest daughter Tania Hanson DeYoung, adding “We thought we’d only have her for another six months.”


Louisiana's first medical marijuana grower contract is done

Louisiana State University has completed its contract with the company that will grow medical marijuana for the school and said Monday the drug is expected to reach patients by the middle of next year.

Las Vegas-based GB Sciences is the first of only two producers of medical marijuana planned in Louisiana, through a deal with the LSU AgCenter. The company will start renovating its planned production facility immediately, according to a statement from the AgCenter.


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