LA lifts medical marijuana patient caps for doctors to boost market’s viability

Louisiana regulators agreed to eliminate the 100-patient limit for doctors authorized to recommend medical marijuana, a move aimed at removing a potential stumbling block for a market that’s expected to launch late this year.

The State Board of Medical Examiners voted 8-1 on Monday to remove the cap established in 2016.

By a narrower 5-4 vote, the board also scrapped a restriction requiring patients to revisit their doctors every 90 days to remain eligible to receive medical cannabis.

Only 48 doctors have submitted applications for a permit to recommend MMJ, and 31 have been approved so far.

That’s such a low number that even without a patient cap, concerns linger about whether enough doctors will recommend MMJ to make it easily accessible to eligible patients.

Dr. Victor Chou, who opened a medical marijuana clinic in Baton Rouge, reached the former patient cap months ago and said hundreds of people are on his waiting list.

Before the vote, he told the board many would-be MMJ patients “feel locked out” of the market.

Here’s what Louisiana’s MMJ market will look like:

  • Nine pharmacy dispensaries will be spread across the state. Only Louisiana State University and Southern University agricultural centers can grow medical marijuana.
  • Marijuana can be sold as oils, pills, liquids, sprays and topical applications but cannot be offered in smokable form.
  • Earlier this year, lawmakers added glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease to a list of qualifying conditions that includes cancer, a severe form of cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, epilepsy and muscular dystrophy.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily

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2 comments on “LA lifts medical marijuana patient caps for doctors to boost market’s viability
  1. Glen Crowder on

    It is the insecurity of the congress in Washington that Ithink keeps more Drs from applying for permits. It is time to take away prohibition and start a 10 yr path to add tobacco to the C1 list so that with free help for people under $40,000 a yr and stop these companies from recruiting smokers. I ask you to google how many people died from smoking and second hand smoke of Marijuana and then the same with tobacco in first and second hand smoke and chewing, dip, and pipes Why does America allow it since 1990 with impunity but act like pot is killing millions when it even helps people stop addictions . It is time to train farmers to grow hemp and retool and diversify tobacco companies to other things . I have a 19 yr old foster daughter who smokes and why with the knowledge we have against it ans she started at 15 easy to get

    • James Boudreaux on

      If Louisiana would let people over 21 years of age ,go to the store and buy anything that can kill them ,let the people of Louisiana vote to legalize marijuana and see we’re it goes.

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