The Louisiana Legislature has put its final stamp of approval on a medical marijuana legalization bill, sending the measure to the state’s governor, who has said he will sign it.
The bill would create one of the strictest MMJ programs in the country and might prove difficult to implement.
Under the bill, only one cultivation site would be licensed – with two university agricultural centers getting first dibs – and 10 dispensaries would be set up at existing pharmacies.
Patients with glaucoma or spastic quadriplegia – as well those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer – would qualify for a prescription from a doctor to purchase infused pills or oils. No smokable forms of cannabis would be allowed.
A Marijuana Policy Project spokesman told Marijuana Business Daily that the bill is “unworkable” because it requires a prescription, and doctors can’t legally prescribe cannabis without risk of prosecution since it’s still federally illegal. An amendment that would’ve changed the word “prescribe” to “recommend” in the bill was stricken in the state House.
Additionally, the bill only calls for the production and sale of medical cannabis with “the lowest acceptable therapeutic level (of THC) available through scientifically accepted methods.” That could mean the program will focus on CBD-heavy medicine.
Louisiana has allowed medical marijuana for almost 30 years, but patients have had no way to legally obtain it.