On Thursday Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 271, a bill that makes Louisiana the first state in the south to create a comprehensive medical marijuana program.
The new law replaces language in the current medical marijuana law that said physicians had to “prescribe” medical marijuana patients, something that is impossible under federal law due to marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug. The new law also removes glaucoma as a qualifying medical condition. Approved conditions now include:
- Spastic quadriplegia
- Symptoms from chemotherapy
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Seizure disorders
- Severe spasms
Under the new law medical marijuana will be produced by a single cultivator and distributed to patients through up to 10 pharmacies, a model we have not yet see in the rush to reform medical marijuana laws across the country.
“Seriously ill Louisianans are grateful to Gov. Edwards and the legislature for their efforts to fix our unworkable medical marijuana law,” said David Brown, president of Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana. “SB 271 brings us closer to providing relief to the suffering of our most vulnerable residents. We hope that they will continue that work by approving SB 180 to ensure that medical marijuana patients and providers are protected from criminal sanctions. Patients shouldn’t be treated like criminals for using the medicine that works best for them.”
A separate bill, Senate Bill 180, is currently being considered in the House. If passed SB 180 would provide legal protections for patients.
You can read SB 271 below in its entirety or click here to download a PDF version.