Will Louisiana Lawmakers Expand the Medical Cannabis Program?
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is still in its infancy, having only passed in 2015 with cannabis sales starting in 2019.
Now, patients who have qualified for medical marijuana cards are looking at some possible changes to the program in 2022, with a long list of bills on the table for Louisiana’s legislative session.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the more realistic changes that patients might see with Louisiana’s medical marijuana program in 2022 and how they might affect medical marijuana patients.
What to Expect for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana in 2022
More Cultivators - A High Priority for Patients
More than a handful of bills that are set to be voted on address Louisiana’s limited number of cultivators, and it's for good reason.
Limited cultivators create a marijuana monopoly that ultimately keeps prices high and supply low. Although that might be favorable for some businesses and politicians, for patients forking over crazy money for their medicine, it hurts the most.
Expanding Louisiana’s number of cultivators can also introduce more variety into the market and allows cultivators to create a broader range of strains that can address different symptoms or conditions.
More cultivators are necessary for states like Louisiana, where two marijuana growers just won’t be able to handle the State’s huge increases in patient registrations and purchases.
Legislators should be looking to increase the number of cultivators significantly in 2022, though it could be an increase of nearly any number based on the different bills that could pass.
More Access to Cannabis for Patients in Louisiana
Another big topic on multiple bills for the 2022 legislative session is who can recommend medical marijuana certifications.
HB793 & HB190 both aim to allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana to potential patients, as opposed to physicians who are currently the only people who can recommend medical marijuana in Louisiana.
This might not immediately seem like a big deal, but allowing nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana could significantly cut down on the costs required to consult with a physician, making access to medical cannabis more available for a wider range of people.
With many seniors turning to cannabis in the 21st century, nurse practitioners could easily recommend cannabis to older Americans who might benefit from the therapeutic and medicinal effects of medical marijuana.
What Likely Won't Happen With Louisiana Cannabis in 2022?
Personal or Home Growing Unlikely for Louisiana in 2022
Although anything could happen, there’s only one bill on Louisiana’s legislative plate that addresses personal growing.
This is a critical juncture of more restrictive programs, as bigger programs typically encourage personal cannabis cultivation while monopolized programs try to keep the option away from patients.
Personal cultivation does come with some significant infrastructure problems such as security, theft prevention, and environmental concerns.
The fact is, however, that most patients would opt for home growing if it were an option not only because it could significantly decrease the cost of cannabis but it also give patients a true sense of what’s in their medicine.
Recreational Legalization a Long Shot for Louisiana in 2022
Recreational legalization is also not likely for Louisiana in 2022, considering there are no legalization efforts set for ballots and Governor Edwards publicly opposes marijuana legalization.
Combined with the slew of parishes, districts, and parts of Louisiana who are combative to even medical marijuana, recreational legalization in 2022 would be a long shot for Louisiana.
And although parts of Louisiana have implemented some form of decriminalization, some areas are considering imposing even harsher penalties for cannabis possession.
Louisiana remains at a bottleneck with cannabis legalization, with the majority of citizens reporting a high favorability for legalizing recreational cannabis while State representatives continue battling it out.
Most likely we’ll see more areas look to decriminalize small possession of cannabis before legalization efforts truly catch on, and in the meantime, a medical marijuana card entitles you to legal access to cannabis in Louisiana.
Most of the changes on the horizon for Louisiana cannabis revolve around licenses, departments, funding, and general infrastructure, though there are more than a few bills that could drastically improve Louisiana’s medical cannabis program, and we hope to see them pass.
Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is up and running, and patients have access to several pharmacies that sell medical cannabis. To purchase medical marijuana in Louisiana, patients must first obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor, and you can consult with a physician online today!
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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