Louisiana lawmakers kill adult-use marijuana legalization efforts

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Lawmakers in Louisiana’s Republican-led House quashed an effort to legalize marijuana possession for those 21 and older and establish an adult-use retail market.

According to the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, the House Criminal Justice Committee voted 9-4 to oppose House Bill 24 introduced by Democratic Rep. Candace Newell.

The bill was opposed by Louisiana sheriffs, district attorneys and chiefs of police who contended passage would present a public-safety issue and a danger to children.

The industry setback in the red state, where the GOP controls both chambers of the Legislature, comes amid an expansion of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program.

Arkansas-based multistate operator Good Day Farm, the largest medical marijuana producer in Louisiana, is doubling production capacity this year amid strong patient demand and new regulations expanding access.

Louisiana last year enacted several regulatory changes to expand its MMJ program, including:

  • Allowing more labs to conduct testing.
  • Transferring oversight from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to the state’s Department of Health.
  • Permitting nurse practitioners and psychologists to make recommendations.
  • Mandating delivery to patients.