Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is picking up the pace in 2022, with patients registering for medical marijuana cards faster than ever and new products hitting pharmacy shelves.
The Louisiana medical marijuana program has been off to a successful start, with multiple pharmacies open and two cultivators producing cannabis flower.
Patients who register for a medical marijuana card can legally purchase and possess cannabis in Louisiana and use it as an alternative or additional medication.
One question that many patients have about medical marijuana programs is if insurance will cover your cannabis or if Medicaid will cover cannabis products.
In this article, we’ll talk about insurance and medical marijuana and discuss your options as a medical marijuana patient in Louisiana.
Will Insurance or Medicaid Cover Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?
Insurance & Medical Marijuana Is a National Problem, Not a State Concern
The short answer is no, neither insurance nor Medicaid currently covers medical cannabis products.
The long answer is a little bit more complicated because as time goes on, this may very well change.
Currently, cannabis is still considered federally illegal, and according to our representatives, cannabis presently has “no medicinal use” and a “high potential for abuse” alongside heroin and ecstasy in Schedule I from the DEA.
Though this is obviously not true and disagrees with the overwhelming medical field, cannabis remains a tightly controlled substance in the United States due to a variety of reasons between willful ignorance, political control, and outright persecution.
There’s a lot of potential for cannabis to be federally legalized in the coming years, however, and as the feds look to potentially reschedule cannabis, insurance companies may take a second look at medical marijuana soon.
Will Insurance Ever Pay for Cannabis in the United States?
One of the harmonious (and profitable) relationships that drug companies and insurance companies have going for them is the market share of pharmaceutical drug costs.
Drug costs are insanely high in the United States, and that's partly why insurance companies are able to work “deals” with pharmaceutical companies. Since cannabis remains federally illegal, insurance companies have no requirements to cover cannabis, and there’s not much of a profit-based incentive to do so.
With cannabis legalization potentially on the horizon, pharmaceutical companies are looking to enter the cannabis industry and dominate the market.
Insurance will likely cover medical marijuana in some capacity at some point in the future, though the likelihood of it making medical cannabis more affordable is probably equivalent to how “affordable” heart surgery is in the United States.
How Would Medical Marijuana Insurance Work in the United States?
Insurance Companies Look for Profit Margins and Treatments, Not Cures
Compared to infrastructures in many other countries, the U.S has done a pretty poor job at promoting healthy lifestyles and offering valuable cures.
Treatments are touted by pharmaceutical companies that are quickly followed by long lists of extreme side effects, and insurance companies happily pay for a percentage of them, after you meet your deductible, and if you are in network, and you have the right insurance package…
The sad truth is that insurance companies not only come at a premium in the United States, but the private price-setting from pharmaceutical companies essentially lets medications cost whatever they want them to cost. It’s often not very cheap unless the medication isn’t patentable.
That doesn’t put medical cannabis at the top of any company’s list of insurable assets, and it would be a complex pursuit considering the volume of cannabis sales and production cost across the Nation.
So, What Would Medical Marijuana Insurance Look Like?
A possible benefit for insurance companies looking to cover medical marijuana costs would be the easy profit margin between cultivation costs and realized market costs.
A $60 1/8th jar of cannabis flower doesn’t cost anywhere near that to produce, and there’s plenty of volume to make up percentage slices for insurance companies.
Especially considering the high cost of deductibles in America, insurance companies could theoretically cover a percentage of cannabis sales if it were federally legal, and it wouldn’t even need to be that much of a discount for patients to immediately seize the opportunity.
A significant drawback would be the competition between the pharmaceutical market and cannabis market, though this is debatable considering the cash incentive for doctors to prescribe pills over pot.
And while we wait for insurance companies to figure out a strategic plan for federal cannabis legalization, prices continue to grow higher in places where cannabis is less accessible. That could lead insurance companies to the realization of those dollars they’re missing out on.
A program where patients can access cannabis at discounted rates likely isn’t too far in the future, though for now, patients will have to pay out of pocket for premium cannabis in Louisiana.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Medical marijuana products are available in Louisiana! As a medical marijuana patient, you can shop at any of the State’s approved pharmacies and legally purchase cannabis products. To get a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, consult with one of our qualified doctors who may be able to recommend you a medical marijuana certification.
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!