Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is starting to flourish.
As new dispensaries are opening, smokable flower is being added to the menu, and with patients getting Louisiana medical marijuana cards faster than ever, 2022 is looking like a bright year for the Pelican State.
But although medical marijuana has been around in some form or another, black market cannabis has flourished as well.
And while black market cannabis can be attractive for many different reasons, there are just as many reasons for choosing medical marijuana over black market marijuana, and in this article, we’ll cover exactly that!
The Dangerous Side of Black Market Marijuana in Louisiana
The black-market marijuana industry has been thriving for decades and continues to grow in popularity due to such high demand for the cannabis plant.
Despite the lack of regulation, taxing, and testing, black market marijuana has flourished in the United States since the day it became illegal, although the cannabis industry has changed quite a bit since the 1930s.
While at one time you could very likely purchase illegal marijuana from a trusted friend or dealer with a relative peace of mind that your product was grown organically and without pesticides or toxic grow-enhancers, the same is not necessarily true today.
Because of inventive (and sometimes harmful) grow techniques, massive underregulated grow operations, cartel-based marijuana farms, and a general need to get inferior products out quickly at an affordable price, the illegal marijuana of today is very different from the illegal marijuana of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Lack of Regulation for Black Market Marijuana
One of the biggest issues with black market marijuana is a significant lack of regulation.
In fact, for black market marijuana, there isn’t any regulation at all.
While in a general sense loose regulation can help businesses get products to market quickly, when it comes to things that you put in your body, the disadvantages of having no regulation immediately start to outweigh the benefits.
There is no testing or analysis for black market marijuana products, meaning that pesticides, molds, bacteria, or other contaminants could end up in your product without you even knowing about it.
And the incentive to use unsafe grow-enhancing chemicals and pesticides in the black market is extremely high, reducing costs and increasing yields at the price of public health.
Grow-enhancing chemicals and pesticides can make crops flower more quickly, produce thicker buds, dry products faster, and ultimately help the grow from seed to harvest at a faster rate, at the cost of potential lung irritants, inferior products full of chemicals and pesticides, and dangers to public health.
Lack of Testing for Black Market Marijuana
Purchasing black market marijuana bypasses any form of quality assurance testing which means more risk for consumers who have no way of knowing whether they're ingesting the healthiest, cleanest product, or the puffed-up PGR buds sprayed with toxic chemicals.
There’s no way to determine levels of THC or CBD, no testing for synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic terpenes added to the products, no analysis of pesticides, molds, or toxic chemicals, and at the end of the day, you’re receiving a mystery bag of potentially good, potentially bad cannabis.
And concentrates are especially victim to dangers from the black market, where dangerous chemical additives like Vitamin E are used, and home-grown labs use inappropriate extraction methods that leave toxic substances like Butane or Propane.
The black-market marijuana industry has no consequences or consideration for testing or analysis because it is illegal and unlicensed to operate.
Medical marijuana, however, is strictly regulated and monitored by government agencies, forcing marijuana cultivators to comply with regulatory testing and analysis to ensure products are healthy and safe to consume.
Benefits of Having a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card
One of the first and most obvious benefits for being a Louisiana medical marijuana patient is legality.
Although Louisiana recently made amendments to how it will handle illegal marijuana possession, it is still illegal to possess cannabis without a medical marijuana card, and you will face fines for simply having small amounts of cannabis on your person.
Having a medical marijuana card gives you the freedom to possess and purchase cannabis without the legal repercussions of illegal cannabis possession.
Another obvious benefit for medical marijuana is that it is designed for chronically and terminally ill patients.
This distinguishes these products in a special category because any contaminants, chemicals, pesticides, molds, or any properties that could cause harm are strictly monitored for, and products that contain any of these properties are disposed of and not sold to the public.
The products that arrive on dispensary shelves are free from these properties, making them the healthier and safer alternative to black market marijuana products, which can be prone to all these issues.
Why Louisiana Medical Marijuana is Safer than Black Market Cannabis
Medical marijuana products can be purchased with the peace of mind that you will not be putting harmful chemicals or toxic materials into your body, and that’s an important factor for patients who may already have compromised health.
And lastly for the benefits of medical marijuana, variety is the spice of life.
You likely won’t be able to call your dealer up and order a transdermal pain patch, THC tincture, a cannabis topical, or likely any products outside of smokable flower or potentially dangerous concentrate products.
But when you shop at a dispensary with a valid medical marijuana card, you’ll be able to browse a wide array of tested and analyzed products that can be consumed in a multitude of ways, not just vape carts or a bag of mids.
Purchasing medical marijuana at a dispensary offers a ton of benefits that are not available illegally, and with safety and health as a priority, Louisiana is providing a healthier and safer alternative to using cannabis.
Get Your Louisiana Marijuana Card
Getting your medical marijuana card in Louisiana is now simpler and easier than ever!
Patients can apply for a Louisiana medical marijuana card today and start receiving the compassionate care that cannabis can provide.
For questions about Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, or how to get a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, consult with one of our trusted doctors and book a 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 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!
Check out Louisiana Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Louisiana!