New Bill Would Double Number of Pharmacies Selling Cannabis in Louisiana
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is going through hurdles, as patients are desperately petitioning for lower prices, more growers, and more access to cannabis.
Currently, Louisiana offers medical marijuana to qualified patients with medical marijuana cards. The cannabis that can be purchased only comes from 2 State-sponsored growers, and it’s supplied to only 10 pharmacies.
A new bill introduced into the House could change how many pharmacies are allowed to sell cannabis products. With a stack of bills allegedly filed for Louisiana’s ’22 legislative session, more growers and lower prices could be on the table for Louisiana patients too.
HB425 Aims to Increase Number of Pharmacies Selling Cannabis in Louisiana
House Bill 425 Doubles Cannabis Pharmacies to 20 Stores
HB425 was introduced on March 2, 2022 and is currently undergoing committee reviews.
The bill proposes that the State of Louisiana add an additional 10 pharmacies licensed to sell cannabis, bringing the total of allowed pharmacies to 20 in the Creole State.
The legislation is right around the 25% mark in moving through the legislative process, though it should be noted that Louisiana is expecting a slew of bills for its opening session which started on the 14th of March and runs through June 6, 2022.
More Stores Selling Cannabis May Not Be the Answer for Louisiana
Allowing additional pharmacies to sell cannabis certainly isn’t a lofty goal for Louisiana. It doesn’t quite address the problem of monopolized cannabis growing, which is at the root of Louisiana’s cannabis price hikes and limited supply.
With only two growers, the State runs the risk of losing crops for any number of reasons, such as failed testing, weather issues, or mold. In fact, with only two growers, Louisiana can’t immediately be expected to do much of anything about supply or price.
According to Tony Landry, the Founder of Louisiana Veterans for Medical Cannabis, there are 24 bills concerning cannabis that the legislative session will have to deal with, which certainly isn’t surprising considering the heightened attention of Louisiana’s lack of competition.
What Bills Could Change Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Program?
Most likely, the set of legislation that will be presented to Louisiana lawmakers would address the limited number of growers, expanding the number of pharmacies, and allowing nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana certifications.
It’ll be an uphill battle to combat the high prices caused by only have 2 cannabis growers, and the number of pharmacies will certainly have to expand to meet the needs of patients spread across the State.
Allowing nurse practitioners to recommend patients for a medical marijuana certification could speed up the process of getting your medical marijuana card in Louisiana and hopefully help bring down some of the costs associated with consulting a physician.
Will Louisiana Get Cheaper Cannabis in 2022?
Unfortunately, to bring cannabis prices down lower, there will likely need to be additional growers, which would require legislation allowing more than Louisiana’s two permitted growers. The more obvious question is whether Louisiana will expand its program or keep the profit sharing on a tight grasp.
And it’s tough to say, with certain parishes relaxing their stance on criminalizing cannabis, and other parishes trying to shove their political prowess in the face of legalization. Louisiana is at a medical marijuana crossroads.
Without more growers, prices will undoubtedly remain high (and profitable), and supply will remain limited. If the State chooses to expand the number of growers, it may have to consider the impact on how recreational cannabis is approached and how growers could coordinate between each other.
There hasn’t been a lot of evidence to suggest that Louisiana has enough steam to launch a recreational cannabis program. A medical marijuana card is the only way to access the cannabis available in Louisiana right now and for the foreseeable future.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Louisiana’s legislative session will likely have a fair amount of cannabis related bills, and we hope to see the State add more dispensaries and growers to bring prices down for Louisiana patients. To access cannabis legally in Louisiana, patients must first obtain a medical marijuana certification from a qualified physician.
Getting a medical marijuana card in Louisiana is easier than ever, so beat the lines and get your medical marijuana certification in Louisiana today. 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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