Now that the state’s MMJ program is coming to the end of its first decade, getting a medical marijuana card in Louisiana is extremely straightforward. In fact, the state has one of the smoothest processes in the country. The application fee is relatively high at $75 and you also need to pay a consultation fee of around $200 on average. However, for anyone living with a chronic condition, MMJ likely feels like a godsend.
These days, it is incredibly easy to find a cannabis-friendly doctor in Louisiana. That is, if you find the right provider. Below, I outline the state’s marijuana laws, and outline how to find a licensed healthcare professional to provide you with the written certification.
Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Laws
There was great news for cannabis advocates in June 2015 when Governor Jindal signed Senate Bill 143 into law. It was officially the beginning of MMJ in the state although there was no way to proceed due to certain restrictions. This was a problem, especially since research shows how cannabis can positively affect many medical issues, including reducing reliance on opioids.
This changed in 2016 when Governor Edwards signed Senate Bill 271. This particular piece of legislation contains provisions for a proper MMJ program. Yet, as is often the case in places that legalize weed, residents had to wait. In fact, you couldn’t use a medical marijuana card in Louisiana to buy weed until August 2019.
Cardholders are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower every 14 days. It is also necessary to refill your prescription every 90 days, although you can’t buy more than a 30-day supply at any time. Unfortunately, there is no provision for growing marijuana plants at home, so you must take a trip to the dispensary for your medicine.
Louisiana has become significantly more lenient with regards to marijuana crimes in recent years. Governor Edwards signed a bill that decriminalized the possession of up to half an ounce. If you’re caught with less than 14 grams (and don’t have an MMJ card), you’ll pay a fine of $100 but will not face further punishment.
It’s a different story if you’re found with more than this amount, however. In this scenario, you face a possible six month prison term. On the plus side, you won’t be charged with a felony for possession unless you have more than 40 ounces! In that case, you can’t really complain.
Finding a Licensed Medical Professional in Louisiana
Part of applying for a Louisiana medical marijuana card involves completing a doctor’s consultation. If you live in Louisiana, you can use a service like MMJCardOnline to make things easier. This brand will help you to book a consultation with a physician that suits your schedule. Best of all, you can do everything online.
So, when you chat to a doctor, there’s no need to travel to a clinic. Instead, you can relax at home and discuss why you feel that a medical marijuana card in Louisiana will help you. Typically, the consultation will last between 10 and 15 minutes. Please ensure you send your medical records in advance to avoid delays.
The doctor will ask a few questions about MMJ and determine if you’re a suitable candidate. If they feel you will benefit from medical marijuana, they will provide a written certification. At this point, the doctor will get in touch with the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy’s Medical Cannabis Registry. They will add you to the list and at that stage, you can visit a pharmacy.
That’s right, you don’t have to complete the long, drawn out process of submitting an online application. Instead, you only need to bring the doctor’s recommendation to the dispensary. There, a staff member will check the Prescription Monitoring Program Database to ensure you’re on it.
Louisiana’s MMJ Application Process Is Quick and Easy
Few states come close to Louisiana regarding the speed and efficiency of its MMJ application process. Not only can you get your medical marijuana card in Louisiana without leaving the house, but you don’t need to wait for the state to approve you.
Once the doctor provides you with a written recommendation, it’s simply a case of visiting your nearest marijuana pharmacy. Other states with MMJ programs should take notes!