Patients with conditions or symptoms that qualify for medical marijuana in Louisiana have a lot to look forward to this year, with nearly 30 bills concerning cannabis on the table for 2022.
The State passed its medical marijuana program in 2015, though the first sale wasn’t until 2019, and cannabis flower remaining prohibited until January of this year.
For 2022, there could be even more changes to Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, as well as adjustments for how the State looks at cannabis altogether, with bills addressing things like record expungement, access to medical cannabis, and patient rights all upcoming.
In this article, we’ll talk about the upcoming changes that Louisiana might see for the medical marijuana program, and how they could affect both patients and cannabis consumers in the Bayou State.
List of Upcoming Bills Concerning Marijuana in Louisiana
Reforms for Medical Marijuana Program, Cultivation Facilities, Record Expungement, and More for ’22 Louisiana Legislative Session
Louisiana currently has 26 bills referencing marijuana on its legislative agenda, though more could be filed.
The 26 bills that reference marijuana in Louisiana are:
HB125 – Increases cultivators to 10, regulations on cannabis
HB135 – Provides Reciprocity for out-of-state medical marijuana patients
HB137 – Adds legal protections for medical marijuana patients
HB190 – Allows nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana to patients
HB234 – Prohibits smoking or vaping cannabis in motor vehicles
HB314 – Technical changes to wording of laws related to health & welfare
HB418 – Removes disqualification of contributing to an election candidate for eligibility to bid for a therapeutic use of marijuana production license
HB425 – Increases dispensaries to 20
HB430 – Increases cultivators to 15 & adds personal growing license for patients
HB553 – Changes eligibility requirements for cultivation licenses.
HB566 – Increases cultivation facilities to unlimited & moves cultivation facilities from Forestry dept. to dept. Health.
HB588 – Removes termination date for cultivator licenses
HB629 – Addresses warrantless searches based on the “smell” of cannabis
HB676 – Changes habitual offender law to only include the possession of 57 or more grams of cannabis.
HB697 – Creates new infrastructure for existing pharmacies to expand locations & implements safety and testing regulations
HB698 – Creates nonrefundable fees and costs for marijuana testing to be paid to Louisiana Board of Pharmacy
HB700 – Creates significant penalties including jail for persons under the age of 18 who possess cannabis
HB767 – Adds six more cultivation licenses to be approved over the course of two years
HB768 – Increases cultivators to 25
HB774 – Expunges records for persons convicted of small amounts of cannabis.
HB775 – Removes devices used for the inhalation of marijuana from the definition of “drug paraphernalia”
HB793 – Allows nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana
HB844 – Allows persons under threat of conviction for drug related sales incl. marijuana to receive lighter sentencing for working with law enforcement.
SB221 – Allows a defendant to submit a motion for re-sentencing with marijuana convictions under certain stipulations.
SB287 – Changes concealed handgun permit expiration from five years to lifetime (Marijuana is mentioned under a prohibition for licensing concerning the “unlawful use of marijuana”).
SCR8 – Creates a new committee for LSU AgCenter & Southern University to explore cross-platform integration of assistance.
Several Bills Introduced in Louisiana Increase Number of Cultivators
A quick glance at the list reveals several bills that would raise Louisiana’s monopolized marijuana growers from two to up to an unlimited number.
With more than a handful of bills addressing the limited number of cultivation facilities, it seems likely that Louisiana may increase the number of cultivation licenses the State can grant. Other bills address problems such as patient rights with warrantless searches over the smell of marijuana and protect medical marijuana patients from being prosecuted.
One bill, HB430, not only increases the number of cultivators to 15, but also adds a personal growing license that patients can apply for and grow their own cannabis plants.
More Cultivators, More Access to Cannabis, & Legal Protections for Louisiana Marijuana Program
Which Marijuana Bills Will Pass in Louisiana?
Considering the bulk of marijuana legislation proposed for the 2022 Louisiana legislative session, it’s quite difficult to get a handle on which bills have the likelihood of passing.
It’s safe to say that adding additional cultivators seems to be a priority among legislators, considering that there are currently five bills on the list that would increase the number of production facilities.
Other bills seem to take the opposite approach, with HB700 looking to tighten the State’s grip on young people using marijuana with harsh penalties, and HB698 outrightly creates more expenses for the program.
With a wide array of bills set before legislators, it’s a little early to figure out which ones have the appropriate language to make it through committee reviews. It does seem reasonable that more cultivators would be at the top of the list because most of the problems that patients are experiencing hinge on the limited number of growers.
More growers would create better competition, lower prices, increase product availability, and ultimately increase profits for the State, and it appears that lawmakers are interested in making that a reality.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program offers cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions. To become a Louisiana medical marijuana patient, consult with one of our physicians who can walk you through the processing of getting your Louisiana medical marijuana certification today!
Getting a medical marijuana card in Louisiana is easier than ever, beat the lines and get your medical marijuana certification in Louisiana today, and you can even get certified for medical marijuana online for ease of use and convenience.
For questions about Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, or how to become a medical marijuana patient in Louisiana, consult with one of our trusted doctors and book an online medical marijuana appointment today!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!