More Pharmacies Approved to Sell Cannabis Coming to Louisiana
The Louisiana medical marijuana program offers a variety of cannabis products for patients with a registered medical marijuana card to choose from.
The Louisiana medical marijuana program is undergoing some changes with the recent passing of several cannabis-related bills.
Among them, HB697 increases the number of pharmacies that can be approved to sell cannabis and introduces a new system for existing businesses to increase their market share.
In this article, we’ll talk about the changes made by House Bill 697 and break down the future of the Louisiana medical marijuana program!
More Pharmacies Coming to Louisiana Soon, Sort Of
Pharmacies Are Now Approved to Create Satellite Locations for Cannabis Sales
House Bill 697 is a long bill that makes several amendments to the Louisiana medical cannabis program.
Chief among the changes is an increase in the number of pharmacies that are approved to sell cannabis in Louisiana.
Currently, only 9 pharmacies are approved to sell cannabis products in Louisiana, and HB697 adds the option for currently operating businesses to add a satellite location to any region where there are more than 3,500 registered patients.
If it’s found that there are more than 6,000 registered patients in a region, the pharmacy in that area will be able to open a second satellite location to serve the area, though it’s capped at 2 satellites per pharmacy with a total cap of 30 pharmacies approved to sell cannabis.
Unfortunately, there were no changes to the number of cultivators allowed to operate in Louisiana, though HB697 will significantly help serve areas that have high concentrations of medical marijuana patients and only one store to shop at, as well as increasing access to medical cannabis in general in Louisiana.
How Does HB697 Change the Medical Marijuana Program?
We covered how Governor Edwards felt about increasing the number of pharmacies selling cannabis in Louisiana, and true to fashion, there likely won’t be any new businesses selling cannabis in the Pelican State.
Currently operating pharmacies, will however, have the option of adding up to two satellite locations if their region has more than 3,500 registered patients per each location.
That will make for a total of 30 potential pharmacies approved to sell cannabis in Louisiana, a considerable jump from the current 9 operators.
This means that whichever 9 pharmacies operating in areas with more than 3,500 registered patients will be eligible to open a satellite location in the same region. If there are over 6,000 registered patients in that region, the pharmacy would be able to open up a 2nd satellite location, which is the maximum any pharmacy can operate.
If a pharmacy declines its option for a second satellite option, any company will be able to bid for the open slot, though it’s unlikely that any pharmacies would deny the opportunity to open another store.
Change of Responsibility & Cannabis Delivery Slipped Into Louisiana House Bill 697
Regulation Moved From Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry to Department of Health
While this may seem somewhat insignificant, it actually makes a very large impact on the potential future of the medical marijuana program in Louisiana.
Health departments are probably more equipped with currently available research and medical capabilities, and the move to put testing and regulatory functions under the wing of medicine rather than agriculture makes sense for medical marijuana patients.
A health department is likely more capable of setting the standards for health and safety when it comes to chronic and terminally ill patients, and the decision to move regulation to the Department of Health reflects the idea that this is a more appropriate department to manage medical cannabis.
Cannabis Home Delivery in New Louisiana Bill?
Another interesting add-in for HB697 is a small and simple statement packed into the series of otherwise monotonous additions that states “each marijuana pharmacy… shall offer home delivery to patients…”
The full statement offers the language:
“Each marijuana pharmacy licensed in accordance with the provisions of 18 this Subsection shall offer home delivery to patients in each zip code within its 19 regions at least once per month.”
An interesting standalone sentence that broadens the capabilities of pharmacies in quite a bit.
Currently, there are a handful of third-party operators that provide the home delivery of cannabis in Louisiana, however this addition to HB697 makes it mandatory that pharmacies offer home delivery.
Whether delivery will continue through third-parties or if pharmacies will be required to offer in-house delivery services is still up for debate.
The exciting fact of the matter is: all medical marijuana patients in Louisiana will have access to home delivery soon.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is undergoing a handful of legislative changes that modify how the program operates. Now, qualified nurse practitioners can recommend medical marijuana alongside physicians, and you can even get your medical marijuana card online in Louisiana!
Consult with one of our compassionate physicians who can help walk you through the process of getting your medical marijuana card today.
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!
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