State of Medical Marijuana in Louisiana

by | Apr 10, 2023

Much has changed since medical marijuana came to the Pelican State in 2019. Learn about the high-potency cannabis alternatives now available without a prescription.

Louisiana still hasn’t legalized recreational marijuana. In 2015, though, it passed legislation allowing physicians to recommend medical marijuana. But implementation has been lethargic. Initially supposed to roll out in September 2018, the program didn’t get started until August 2019. And it remains expensive and limited with respect to eligibility, how much marijuana you may obtain, and the number of authorized suppliers.

Fortunately, if you are over 21, you now have ready access to an alternative that is much more affordable: cannabis products, including hemp-derived THC products, which provide many of the same benefits as medical marijuana. With a valid ID, you can get them over the counter in New Orleans at Simply CBD. No prescription is required.

What is medical marijuana?

As defined by the Mayo Clinic, medical marijuana refers to “derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant that are used to ease symptoms caused by certain medical conditions.” Acceptable forms include oils, tinctures, sprays, chewable confections, and, since January 2022, smokable forms of cannabis.

Smoking medical marijuana is now legal in Louisiana.

As of January 1, 2022, the raw smokable form of medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana. As in the case of any prescription drugs, especially controlled substances, users must keep their medical marijuana in its original packaging and be able to produce a valid prescription.

But medical marijuana is costly.

Prices may drop eventually. But right now, medical marijuana is still very expensive. Getting it also entails the costs of visiting a doctor and renewing the prescription annually.

There are problems with supply.

Laboratory testing of the marijuana concentrate and medical marijuana products is done by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry. Only two organizations are licensed to grow medical marijuana in the state: the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center. Only nine pharmacies throughout all of Louisiana are currently permitted to distribute medical marijuana.

Unsurprisingly, this government-mandated “duopoly of growers and oligopoly of pharmacies” has sharply restricted supply. Medical marijuana patients in New Orleans, in particular, report long lines and limited options in stock.

And you have to have a medical condition to qualify.

Although the list of medical conditions treatable by marijuana has been expanded a few times over the years, to qualify you still need to establish a doctor-patient relationship and be diagnosed as suffering from a debilitating medical condition like cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. (See a complete list of what qualifies as a debilitating medical condition by clicking on the Frequently Asked Questions tab of the website’s medical-marijuana page.)

Legal THC Cannabis Alternatives

If you lack a qualifying medical condition or the cost of obtaining medical marijuana is too steep, you now have alternatives.

You can get many of the same benefits from legal, over-the-counter cannabis products, including hemp-derived THC gummies that offer a very similar THC experience as marijuana.

Simply CBD is proud to carry Crescent Canna’s Delta-8 Gummies and Delta-9 Gummies, which are the perfect alternative to medical marijuana. They’re potent, effective, and delicious. They are also federally legal and officially registered with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Enjoy the real THC experience that’s now legal in Louisiana for all adults over the age of 21.

If you have any questions about legal THC products, please contact us or stop by one of our four New Orleans Cannabis dispensaries to learn more and to check out our huge selection of hemp-derived cannabis products.