The Louisiana Pharmacy Board has issued nine permits to companies that will operate the state’s first medical marijuana pharmacies. The 17-member board is mandated by state law to oversee the marijuana dispensaries. One pharmacy will operate in each of the nine regions of the state established by the Louisiana Department of Health.
Louisiana law prohibits marijuana from being sold in any form that can be smoked. The forms sold at state-permitted pharmacies will include pills, topical creams and oils and can only be dispensed to patients with a doctor’s recommendation form.
Only a handful of doctors have become licensed to recommend medical marijuana to patients in Louisiana. Additionally, limitations include just 10 treatable medical conditions. Doctors will issue “recommendations” as opposed to prescriptions, an effort to protect physicians from putting their medical licenses in jeopardy because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
SB 143, Louisiana’s original medical marijuana bill, authorized treatment for the following conditions: Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Wasting Syndrome/Cachexia, Seizure Disorders, Epilepsy, Spasticity, Mutiple Sclerosis, Muscular Distrophy, Crohn’s Disease. In 2018, two more bills passed making more diagnoses eligible, including Autism Spectrum with certain circumstances, Chronic Pain, PTSD, Severe Muscle Spasms, Parkinson’s Disease, and Glaucoma.