- Olivia Castro
How to Get the Most Out of Your Medical Marijuana - A Guide to Saving Money at Louisiana Pharmacies
In most medical marijuana programs in the country, “dispensary” is the term that is used to refer to the place where patients can purchase their medical marijuana from. In Louisiana, they are referred to as pharmacies! These pharmacies are basically the same as dispensaries but under a different name.
In 2015, Louisiana passed legislation that put a cap on the number of pharmacies that can sell medical marijuana at one time. That limit was put at ten pharmacies. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy’s goal was to make these pharmacies accessible to patients all over the state so Louisiana was cut into nine regions. Each of these nine regions were given one pharmacy to provide medical marijuana relief to patients in the surrounding areas.
In 2018, the Board voted to award nine pharmacies permits to distribute medical marijuana in Louisiana’s nine regions. Here are the nine regions, the cities they encompass and the pharmacies in that region!
Metropolitan (Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard)
Capitol (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana)
Teche (Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, and Terrebonne)
Acadian (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion)
Southwest (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis)
Northeast (Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, and West Carroll)
Central (Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn)
Northwest (Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Webster)
Southeast (Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington)
Since Louisiana has a limit on the number of pharmacies in the state, those pharmacies hold more power over pricing and distribution simply because there is less competition. Treating your chronic pain, PTSD, cancer-related symptoms, or a host of other conditions with medical marijuana can get expensive, but it’s possible to put a plug in the wallet-drain with some of the following strategies:
Find Medical Marijuana Discounts
It takes a bit of bargain-hunting savvy, but you can often find discounts and savings opportunities on medical marijuana products, giving your budget a bit of breathing room. There are a few different ways to find the best prices, and savings will get more common as the Louisiana medical marijuana program matures.
Most pharmacies charge similar prices for the same products. However, you may be able to find similar strains at different pharmacies for varying prices!
It’s usually pretty convenient to shop around before you actually visit the pharmacies, because products and prices are often listed on each location’s website.
Another trick is to follow your local pharmacy on social media! Some pharmacies do promotions and sales which give patients discounts on certain products only on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This is a great way to save week to week!
Join Your Local Pharmacy Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to find savings on your medical marijuana purchases. Sharing your phone number or email address is often all you need in order to get notifications any time there is a sale at your favorite pharmacy.
Not only will you get a message in your inbox whenever you have a chance to save on your medical marijuana, but some stores allow you to build rewards points to use toward the price of your purchase.
Subscribe to Pharmacy Newsletters
Some pharmacies have a separate email newsletter that they send out monthly or bi-monthly, and they usually include special deals for subscribers. Pharmacies that have weekly specials will often use this medium to reach customers about those deals as well!
Walk In & Have a Chat
You never know what you will find when you walk into your local pharmacy. The nature of supply can be a bit unpredictable sometimes, and some sales are just for the day or even the hour. Chat your local pharmacist up, and you may be able to get a heads up when something is about to go on sale!
Pharmacies often know ahead of time when there is going to be a sale. The easiest way to get in on those is to simply call! You can call your local pharmacy in the beginning of the week to check in and see if there are any upcoming sales or promotions. This is the least amount of work for the most reward as you can just stop in whenever there is a sale!
Stretch Your Medical Marijuana
Stretching your stash is another way to save as it makes your medical marijuana last longer! With these tips and tricks you can be more conscious of how much your using:
DIY edibles are a great way to save money and time at the pharmacy! It also is just a really fun thing to do as you can make DIY edibles from tinctures that you purchase at your pharmacy.
By making your own edibles at home, you can have much more control over your health and wellness! You can craft edibles from foods that you actually love to eat and that fit within your everyday diet and lifestyle, rather than just having access to the brownies and cookies commonly made available at pharmacies. You also have control over the dosage since tinctures have drop by drop dosing!
DIY edibles are great but you can also pinch some pennies when purchasing edibles in general! In Louisiana, gummy edibles are available to you and eating your marijuana actually makes the effects more pronounced. It does take longer to feel the effects but once you do they last long because the marijuana is in the bloodstream. Consuming marijuana in a way that lasts the longest is a great way to not blow through your stash!
Medical marijuana concentrates are made from the extraction of valuable cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. This makes the concentrates more potent than other products. Using more potent products can help get you the medication that you need while conserving your products at the same time!
Invest in Products with a Longer Shelf Life
When at a pharmacy, there are many different products available to you from topicals and inhalers to capsules and patches. Louisiana isn’t like Colorado or California where you can simply go in and buy the most marijuana buds for the lowest price. This makes it much more difficult to really understand if you are getting a bang for your buck.
In Louisiana, tinctures are one of the safest products to bet on. This is because they last the longest! If you store your tinctures properly they can actually have almost an infinite shelf life. When you compare this to something like an edible, even the most finely crafted one, there is going to be degradation very quickly in comparison to tinctures. Being mindful of this will simply allow you to use your money wisely and invest in products that won’t get bad quickly!
Until medical marijuana becomes recognized as a medication that should be covered by your health insurance (and until everyone can afford health insurance), treating your symptoms naturally can be expensive. But you don’t have to completely break the bank every time you need a refill on your treatment if you have these tips and tricks in hand!
Bring out your inner bargain-hunter to save money when you visit the pharmacy, DIY your own edibles and invest in products that won’t go back quickly. Either way, a little extra effort and research can go a long way in helping you get the relief you deserve for less!
Louisiana Marijuana Card is Here to Help!
If you have not yet received your medical marijuana card, now is a great time to have an evaluation. Most people who attend an appointment with Louisiana Marijuana Card end up qualifying, and we can even help you obtain your medical records if necessary. We are here to help you through the entire process!
We offer telemedicine so you can talk to one of our doctors from the comfort of your home, our staff is always available to answer any questions you have, and we take pride in our ongoing customer support. You are never alone in your healing journey when you join the family Louisiana Marijuana Card!
You can also stay connected with us day to day! Check out our blog to educate yourself about medical marijuana. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, to join the Louisiana medical marijuana community.
Don’t wait another day to find the relief you deserve!