Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the nation to set up a system for dispensing medical cannabis, but it’s questionable whether the program will ever get off the ground.
The law requires that patients obtain a prescription for cannabis from a physician. Since the Drug Enforcement Administration still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, doctors could be prosecuted and lose their licenses if they prescribe cannabis.
The law, therefore, might not result in any actual business opportunities or an expansion of the cannabis industry.
In other states that have legalized medical marijuana, doctors simply recommend cannabis as a treatment option.
Regardless, Jindal’s administration is moving ahead with logistical plans, and it appears that Louisiana State University will accept responsibility for cultivating medical cannabis, according to the News Star.
And as Marijuana Business Daily reported previously, the new law’s original author has a plan to make the system workable: He wants the state to set up a parallel licensing process for physicians to obtain a separate credential so they will legally be able to write prescriptions for MMJ without violating federal law.
Even if that plan works out, however, insiders have estimated that it will likely take years before Louisiana’s system is operable. And the strict new law only allows for a single cultivator, 10 dispensing sites across the state, and non-smokeable MMJ.