Is Recreational Marijuana Coming to Louisiana in 2022?
Louisiana has some favorable cannabis laws, including an expansive medical marijuana program, a legislative group that recognizes cannabis as medicine, and even recent decriminalization in the state.
Currently, to access cannabis legally you need to get approved for a medical marijuana certification in Louisiana. As of right now there are no other ways to legally access cannabis in the state.
But with growing changes in the landscape of cannabis in the United States, many question if Louisiana will manage to legalize recreational cannabis in 2022. In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about recreational marijuana in Louisiana!
Current Louisiana Marijuana Laws
Louisiana passed the medical marijuana program in 2019, and since then state legislators have worked hard to make appropriate changes as patient needs have changed.
In the time since the medical marijuana program passed in Louisiana, the state has worked to expand the medical conditions that are approved for medical marijuana certifications, created a robust cultivation operation sponsored by state universities, and created an easy pipeline for pharmacies to sell medical cannabis.
And after hearing concerns from patients about the formerly restrictive prohibition against raw cannabis flower, smokable cannabis flower was added to Louisiana’s menu this year, expecting to be on pharmacy shelves January 1st, 2022.
Louisiana even passed a decriminalization effort in 2021, making possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis incur a maximum fine of $100, as opposed to prison time.
But although Louisiana maintains a good example of cannabis decriminalization, possession of cannabis is still illegal without a medical marijuana certification, and recreational cannabis cannot be legally bought, sold, or possessed.
Legalization Efforts in Louisiana
Recreational legalization has made its way around Louisiana legislation, although unfortunately failing to pass in any meaningful way.
The state is quite favorable to modest reform and reducing overly harsh penalties, as well as creating better access for patients, but recreational cannabis legalization doesn’t appear to be a priority for either lawmakers or legislators.
And it’s no surprise. To be fair, the medical marijuana program in Louisiana is relatively new for the state and creating a comprehensive medical marijuana program that runs efficiently takes time, education, and many legal changes to become operational.
States who have legalized medical marijuana programs don’t have a reputation for legalizing recreational cannabis shortly thereafter, likely because it does take time to understand a new industry, and it takes time and experience to better understand the workings of cannabis as a business model.
For states like Louisiana, the priority remains in fostering the growing medical marijuana industry, while addressing the penalties that are incurred from illegal marijuana possession.
Recreational cannabis use is difficult to fit into that conversation because the state is very new to understanding cannabis as more than just an illegal substance, and in truth this takes time to comprehend for legislators and lawmakers.
Will Louisiana Legalize Recreational Cannabis in 2022?
It is unlikely that Louisiana will pass recreational legalization in 2022. Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has been quoted saying:
“[recreational legalization] is going to happen in Louisiana eventually.”
“…It’s on the march, and that certainly might happen here in Louisiana …I would be surprised if there’s a consensus in the legislature to do that while I’m governor.”
Governor Edwards joins the increasing number of legislators and lawmakers that believe the federal rescheduling of cannabis is very near for the future of the United States, and like many, he is likely taking the position that the most significant forms of recreational legalization in America will happen after that has occurred.
And in a way, legislators who are pausing on recreational cannabis legalization are right. Conflicting preemptive legislation in states could undermine the broader expansion of federal legalization and could cause kinks in the pipes.
Alternatively, if all states took this approach, it would be unlikely that the federal government would have any incentive to pursue national legalization, as we’ve seen for the last 80 something years.
While the public should probably remain leery on the idea of “waiting for the feds” to do something about cannabis legalization, it does propose an interesting concept:
Most legislators are expecting federal changes to cannabis.
And although Louisiana will not likely pass any recreational legalization in 2022, it could be that the country will see a different kind of cannabis reform soon, which would affect how states will pursue their own agenda with cannabis legalization.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Receiving a medical marijuana certification in Louisiana remains the only way to legally possess cannabis in the Bayou State, and for patients with approved qualifying conditions, Louisiana is one of the best and easiest states to receive a certification.
Louisiana makes getting a medical marijuana certification simple and stress-free, and you can even get certified 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!
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