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Law Louisiana

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Marijuana can be available in medicinal oils, pills, sprays and topical applications, but cannot be sold in a form that can be smoked."

As with NY and FL, this does not constitute an MMJ program, in my opinion, with this ^^ level of restriction. Complete and utter BS.


Start-Up Slow for Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Program


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — No purses or briefcases allowed. Only transparent trash bags can be used. Randomized routes and delivery times demanded for the product, moved in unmarked vehicles. Constant surveillance expected.

Piecing together a medical marijuana program in a conservative Southern state like Louisiana involves reams of regulations, tightly-controlled growing operations and a slow selection process for the primary players.

Patients eligible for the drug under a law passed more than two years ago remain an estimated eight to 10 months away from having therapeutic marijuana in hand, with growing facilities still to be renovated and dispensing pharmacies still to be chosen.

The facilities will face intense scrutiny — and the whole program faces a legislative review after it gets up and running to determine if it will exist beyond Jan. 1, 2020.

Louisiana lawmakers agreed to a framework for dispensing the drug in 2015, then tweaked the law by Republican Sen. Fred Mills, a pharmacist, a year later. The law will eventually get medicinal-grade marijuana to people with cancer, a severe form of cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other diseases. Marijuana can be available in medicinal oils, pills, sprays and topical applications, but cannot be sold in a form that can be smoked.

Only the agricultural centers at LSU and Southern University are allowed to grow the medical-grade pot, overseen by Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain’s department. The law allows only 10 pharmacies to distribute the medication to patients, chosen by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy through a competitive bidding process. Doctors must get permission from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to recommend the drug for patients.

Both universities have selected vendors to produce the medicinal drug: Las Vegas-based GB Sciences for LSU and Lafayette-based Advanced Biomedics for Southern. Both schools expect to get millions from the growers over the first five years of production and to do research at the cultivation facility. No state tax dollars are involved.

While LSU has completed its contract, Southern is still finalizing the terms of its deal.

GB Sciences has chosen its production site in south Baton Rouge and will start renovating the 30,000-square-foot warehouse as soon as it receives a construction permit from the city-parish, said Ashley Mullens, with the LSU AgCenter.

“We’re hoping to have the product available next summer,” she said.

The Board of Medical Examiners has been processing applications and granting doctors permission to offer medical marijuana to patients. (Doctors won’t issue a prescription, but instead a “physician recommendation form.”) But no dispensing pharmacies have been chosen yet.

The Board of Pharmacy intends to issue one permit in each of the nine state-designated health care regions. The deadline to apply was Sept. 29. The board, which didn’t return calls for information, posted online that it expects to select the nine marijuana pharmacy permit recipients in January.

Mullens said the LSU AgCenter remains in constant contact with the pharmacy board to make sure the timelines coincide so LSU doesn’t end up “having product and no place to put it or them having pharmacies with no product to sell.”

The regulatory process is extensive.

The agriculture department alone issued 23 pages of rules for the medical marijuana growers “to protect the public welfare of the inhabitants of the state.”

Surveillance requirements are extensive, with cameras and a backup generator mandated, along with specifications for where cameras should be placed and synchronized. An inventory tracking system is required. Transportation to dispensaries is to be closely controlled, randomized and unrecognizable by vehicle. The product packaging can’t be attractive to children.

Under LSU’s contract with GB Sciences, the grower must hire the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for two off-duty deputies during all hours of operation.

For the dispensing pharmacies, the facilities can’t sell any other prescription drugs, under rules established by the Board of Pharmacy. If a marijuana product is being discarded, a strict method is outlined for grinding up and getting rid of it. No public advertising through TV, radio or billboards will be allowed.

Louisiana lawmakers and the regulators they chose clearly realize how touchy the subject is when the state allowed a limited number of patients to use medical marijuana to ease their pain.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Medical marijuana inhalation Bill revived, passed by Louisiana Senate


Louisiana senators have revived a proposal to let Louisiana’s medical marijuana patients inhale cannabis, only two days after rejecting the idea.

The House overwhelmingly agreed to the inhalation proposal by Baton Rouge Democratic Rep. Ted James, which would let therapeutic cannabis patients use an inhaler, like asthma patients use.

Baton Rouge Republican Sen. Dan Claitor and other senators Saturday objected to widening the delivery methods beyond current law and shelved the bill.

On Monday, Sen. Fred Mills, a Parks Republican, successfully amended the measure to spell out the metered-dose inhalers that would be allowed. The Senate passed that reworked bill with a 31-7 vote, sending it back to the House.

Medicinal-grade pot isn’t yet available to patients, but availability is expected later this summer.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
“medical marijuana in a form to be administered in a metered-dose inhaler.”

So, WTF is this ^^ with respect to "herbal formulations". WTF does this really mean? Anybody?



Louisiana Governor signs Herbal Cannabis Access Bill

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed legislation into law permitting licensed dispensaries to provide herbal formulations of cannabis to qualified patients.

House Bill 358 permits patients to obtain “medical marijuana in a form to be administered in a metered-dose inhaler.” The new law takes effect on August 1, 2019.

Although lawmakers initially established rules regulating the production and dispensing of medical cannabis products in 2015, the law is yet to be fully operational.

In March, Florida lawmakers also repealed its blanket ban on the inhalation of herbal forms of medical cannabis.

NORML has long argued against limitations on the inhalation of herbal cannabis, opining that inhalation provides patients with the ability to self-titrate their dose and is associated with the rapid and consistent onset of drug effect.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
As I have said in comments on the articles above, this is yet another state with a so-called med program that has so many limitations that IMO its more suited to covering politician's asses then helping patients.

“We’re in the process of bottling the final formulations and we’re waiting to put the labels on the bottles that will describe the contents,” Davis said
Whoa...still my beating heart. That's right folks, you ain't getting any flower, you ain't getting carts, you ain't getting dabable 'trates, you ain't getting edibles...what you are getting is screwed.

“Here in Louisiana, we’re seeing a very different approach that has a good viability to become the gold-standard of what medical marijuana programs should look like,” Mark Slaugh, a cannabis consultant for pharmacies across the country, said."

Bullshit.


Louisiana 'weeks’ away from medical marijuana rollout
ATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Medical marijuana could be available for Louisiana’s sickest patients in “the next few weeks," according to grower, GB Sciences’, Vice President John Davis.

“We’re in the process of bottling the final formulations and we’re waiting to put the labels on the bottles that will describe the contents,” Davis said. “That’s how close we are. We’re all aiming for the next few weeks.”

Disputes between the state and its grower over testing practices and logistics repeatedly delayed the program’s roll-out. Now that those disagreements appear to be resolved, pharmacists are prepping for product to hit their shelves soon.

“We’re super excited about this because it’s on the cutting edge of any medication that we’ve dealt with before,” Capitol Wellness owner, Randy Mire, said.

Capitol Wellness is one of nine licensed pharmacies across the state that will dispense marijuana. Specially-licensed doctors may recommend marijuana to patients, who would then receive their dosage from specially-licensed pharmacists at one of the nine state-approved dispensaries. “Here in Louisiana, we’re seeing a very different approach that has a good viability to become the gold-standard of what medical marijuana programs should look like,” Mark Slaugh, a cannabis consultant for pharmacies across the country, said.

Capitol Wellness hosted a sort of seminar Thursday night (July 18) for local stakeholders to ask GB Sciences’ scientists questions about their dosing research.

“It demonstrates credibility,” Davis said. “It’s not that we’re saying, ‘Hey, here’s some weed. Go use it.’ Instead, we’re saying, ‘Here’s a compilation of all the peer-reviewed medical literature.’”

“Tonight’s event is centered around making sure they’re educated appropriately and that they know how to recommend for their patients, and what to look for from a scientific standpoint," Mire said. “We’re looking at what clinically supports this.”

The medicine will initially be available in droppers, with three different dosing options.

One mix contains a higher concentration of CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical with purported healing properties. Another will have a higher concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gets its users high. The third mix will be a balance between the two compounds.
The doses are based on what little peer-reviewed research is available, since marijuana has been taboo for so long.

After some time, GB Sciences will introduce the medicine in Listerine-style strips that melt on the tongue. Eventually, inhalers, lozenges, and creams will also be available.






 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"The products include cannabis oil drops and inhalers for delivery of the medication."​
Anther BS program with products restricted to the point that its.....well, not really an MMJ program to my mind.

If interested in what they mean by inhalers, they do NOT mean vapes as we know them. They mean this:

louisiana-medical-marijuana-inhalation-bill-approved-state-legislature-featured.jpg



Louisiana could have medical cannabis on shelves by next week

Patients in Louisiana could see medical cannabis products on dispensary store shelves as soon as next week, according to an announcement from state regulators on Monday. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain said in a press release that the initial batch of cannabis oil formulations had been received from GB Sciences of Louisiana for laboratory analyses by the agency.
“Once testing is completed and the product passes for homogeneity, potency and is deemed free of contaminants, it will be ready for distribution,” said Strain.
GB Sciences is cultivating cannabis and producing cannabis products for the state’s medical marijuana program, working as a subcontractor for Louisiana State University. Strain told reporters that it should take about seven business days to test the samples delivered to the LDAF by the company. If any issues arise during testing, however, the process could take longer.

“Hopefully if everything is good by next week it will be cleared and moving to the pharmacies,” Strain said.
Product Packaged and Ready for Sale
LDAF personnel picked up a randomly selected sample of cannabis products from GB Sciences merchandise ready to be distributed to dispensaries. The products include cannabis oil drops and inhalers for delivery of the medication. Formulations high in THC, high in CBD, or with a balanced ratio of the cannabinoids will be available.
“The samples are of the final finished product in their packaging,” Strain said.
The products will be tested for potency, homogeneity, and contaminants.
LSU Vice President Bill Richardson said that the university is looking forward to its first supply of medical marijuana products being made available to patients once testing is complete.
“The LSU AgCenter is excited that our therapeutic cannabis products will soon be cleared by LDAF for distribution to licensed Louisiana pharmacies,” Richardson said. “Patients with debilitating conditions that have obtained a recommendation from a certified physician will be able to obtain this product.”

Tight Rules and Regulatory Delays Plague Program
Under the rules of the Louisiana medical marijuana program, cannabis may only be grown by LSU and Southern University and their partners. On July 22, Southern and its partner Advanced Biomedics, which is doing business as Ilera Hollistic Healthcare, received authorization from state regulators to begin growing medical cannabis. The company will soon be planting the seeds for its first crop.
“Southern is moving forward but it takes three to five months to grow the crop before it can be processed and tested,” Strain said.
Passed by voters in 2015, Louisiana’s medical marijuana program has now seen more than four years of delay in its implementation. Tight regulations of the program and its slow rollout have led to frustration for many patients who have been waiting for a legal source of their medicine.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I almost hate posting any positive articles about Louisiana's medical program and give them any sort of cover for what is...pretty much...a Potemkin Village of a med program.


First batch of Louisiana's medical marijuana cleared for release Tuesday to pharmacies by regulators

State agriculture regulators have cleared Louisiana's first batch of medical marijuana for release to pharmacies, ending months of delays getting the product cleared for patients.

John Davis, the head GB Sciences Louisiana, said medical marijuana will be released to pharmacies on Tuesday and that's when the first patients can get access to the drug.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry said Thursday evening it completed testing of a random sample of the marijuana tincture, which was produced by LSU and its contractor, GB Sciences.


"We are pleased to announce that LSU-GBSL's final medical marijuana product has passed all testing and is cleared for immediate release to the medical marijuana pharmacies,” Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said in a statement.


“This has been a longtime coming. This is for all the patients, advocates, elected officials, two universities, department staff, employees, volunteers and anyone who took the risk to make this historic undertaking a reality. It is a great day for Louisiana. We couldn’t be more proud," said Jesse McCormick, executive director of Louisiana Association for Therapeutic Alternatives.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
So, this first pic is some kind of joke...maybe? Something like "how many armored and armed cops does it take to delivery a box of really shitty MMJ inhalers to a drug store" sigh


Watch: First batches of medical marijuana delivered to Louisiana pharmacies

1565125849971.png

After years of waiting, patients in Louisiana will finally have access to medical marijuana starting Tuesday after the first batch of tincture bottles are delivered to pharmacies across the state.

Several boxes of medical marijuana tincture were shipped off from GB Sciences’ growing facility, in a former Pepsi distribution center in south Baton Rouge, early Tuesday, for transport to pharmacies.

“You’re making history,” GB Sciences Louisiana President John Davis said as the transport company signed for the first order.



Nine designated pharmacies will sell the medicine to patients who have a recommendation from a doctor. Capitol Wellness Solutions, in Baton Rouge, is hosting an event later Tuesday morning where it will celebrate the first bottles of medicine being handed out to patients.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2015 signed a law that paved the way for the legal growth and dispensing of medical marijuana, making Louisiana the first state in the Deep South to allow for access to the drug.

A year later, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed another bill that set forth the current program, tweaking language to allow doctors to “recommend” the drug to patients, among other things. The legislation ultimately made the drug available to patients, despite lengthy setbacks.

Can't see video below? Click here.


GB Sciences has clashed with regulators, delaying the release of medical marijuana, while the other licensed grower, Southern University, has seen even more delays and switched contractors last year.

Medical marijuana was technically legalized in Louisiana in 1991, but there was no framework set up to allow for the legal dispensing of the drug, meaning patients did not have access to it until now.
 

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Baron23

Well-Known Member
After one month, how are Louisiana’s medical marijuana patients doing?

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When medical marijuana became available on Aug. 6, Alex Domino said he had no expectations. For him, the medicine was simply a remedy for a myriad of serious ailments that he had not tried.
One month later, 70-year-old Domino says marijuana has changed his outlook on life.
“Hey man, I can make 94 now,” he chuckled. “I don’t have to work as hard to keep myself calm.”
Domino was the first patient to receive medical marijuana in Louisiana. He complained then about sleepless nights and anxiety, both lingering side effects from his bout with serious colon cancer.
“I used to get up and I’d be tired, like I didn’t sleep at all,” he said. “Now, it feels like I’ve had a little rest.”
Domino is one of roughly 1,500 patients who have used the medicine since August. The state’s grower estimates around 5,000 people have consulted with a state-licensed marijuana therapist to determine if the new medicine could help them.



Dr. Victor Chou, Baton Rouge’s first marijuana doctor, says around 80% of his patients are seeing positive results. Chou is seeing around 600 patients. Since he began his marijuana practice two years ago, he’s moved to a larger office and purchased new filing cabinets to keep up with the demand.
Dr. Victor Chou sees about 600 medical marijuana patients.

Dr. Victor Chou sees about 600 medical marijuana patients. (Source: WAFB)
“Not only do I feel validated, more importantly, I feel happy for the patients,” Chou said. “Now that the product is out of the starting gate, we should expect more product at cheaper prices to be able to help even more people.”
Chou notes that not everyone who takes the drug is satisfied. Like any medicine, different marijuana treatments produce different results for different people. In some cases, this may be a result of the dosage.
But for Domino, the medicine produced benefits he didn’t expect. He says he found the treatment “by accident" during an online search for something that could prevent his cancer from returning.
He jokes that he won’t know if marijuana prevents cancer unless he lives to be 106, but says he’s pleasantly surprised with the other effects.
“It makes me feel calmer for some reason. Like somebody made you say, ‘ahhh," Domino said, mimicking a sigh of relief. "That’s what it makes you feel like. It’s got an ‘ahh’ effect.”
With football on the brain, Domino likens his results to a 20-yard scoring play, instead of an 80-yard touchdown: not a miracle drug, but something that’s made his life easier.
He says he hopes other patients will ask their doctor about the treatment.
“I’d tell them to try it, because you never know how one thing is going to work for you,” he said. “It might be better, or it might not be as good, but it will do something.”
“If it just makes a little change, and makes your life better, you want that,” Domino continued. “You don’t want to be down all the time. You want to at least take it up a notch.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Lawmakers Vote To Allow Medical Marijuana For Any Debilitating Condition And Legalize Delivery Services


A Louisiana House committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would significantly expand the state’s medical marijuana program by letting doctors issue recommendations to patients for any debilitating condition. Lawmakers also advanced separate legislation to allow dispensaries to deliver products to patients’ homes.

The action represents a rare legislative victory for cannabis reformers in recent weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has largely halted proceedings in states across the country.

Both pieces of legislation approved by the House Health and Welfare Committee were sponsored by Rep. Larry Bagley (R). They now move to the full House for debate.

The medical cannabis expansion legislation as originally drafted would have simply added traumatic brain injuries and concussions to the list of conditions that qualify a patient for a marijuana recommendation. But it was amended by the panel to add several other conditions as well as language stipulating that cannabis can be recommended for any condition that a physician “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

“I’ll say this. I have never been a proponent of medical marijuana. I voted against every piece of legislation that came down because I just didn’t believe in it and I thought there was an ulterior motive,” Bagley told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview. “But now, constituents in my area, they come to me and they ask me for help because they’re having pain, they can’t find things to cure the pain. They’re using opioids, some of them, they’ve just got problems that the doctors can’t seem to help.”

“So this is just another avenue. Now their personal physician can write them a script for [cannabis] and they can get it,” he said. “Who knows you better than your personal physician? I thought it made perfect sense.”

As it stands under current law, a list of 14 conditions can qualify a patient for cannabis in Louisiana. That includes cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and severe muscle spasms.

“Lawmakers are increasingly recognizing that it makes no sense to treat medical cannabis more restrictively than far more dangerous prescription medicines, which can be delivered to patients’ doors and prescribed off-label,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “Today’s committee votes were an important step toward to a more compassionate, less onerous medical cannabis program in Louisiana.”

The cannabis delivery legislation that also passed the panel would require a government regulatory body to develop “procedures and regulations relative to delivery of dispensed marijuana to patients by designated employees or agents of the pharmacy.”

The state Department of Pharmacy already set the stage for the policy change, as it released a memo in March temporarily authorizing dispensaries to deliver cannabis to patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The mayor of Washington, D.C. similarly announced that medical cannabis deliveries would be temporarily permissible under certain circumstances due to the pandemic.

The new Louisiana bill, if enacted, would allow delivery on a permanent basis.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Louisiana Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana Expansion And Cannabis Banking Bills To Governor’s Desk

Louisiana lawmakers sent bills to significantly expand the state’s medical marijuana program and to allow cannabis businesses to access banks to the governor’s desk over the weekend.

The expansion legislation—which the House of Representatives initially approved last month and cleared the Senate on last week with one amendment—would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Because the Senate added language that requires dispensaries to record medical marijuana purchases in the state prescription monitoring program database, it had to be returned to the House for reconsideration. The final version was approved by the body in a 74-16 vote on Sunday and is now being transmitted to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) for signature or veto.

As originally drafted, the bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Bagley (R) would have simply added traumatic brain injuries and concussions to the list of conditions that qualify a patient for a marijuana recommendation. But it was amended in a House committee to add several other conditions as well as language stipulating that cannabis can be recommended for any condition that a physician “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

Under current law there are only 14 conditions that qualify patients for the program.

Bagley told Marijuana Moment he’s “excited” that patients “can now have another choice for pain relief.”

“This entire process for me has been to help people in pain that had no other choice but opioids,” he said. “My seat on the Traumatic Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund has opened my eyes to people who are constantly in pain. I’m proud to have lead the charge to help people in need, not only in District 7, but the state of Louisiana.”

Another bill headed to Edwards’s desk would protect banks and credit unions that service cannabis businesses from being penalized by state regulators. That measure cleared the Senate on Friday by a tally of 29-0 after being approved by the House last month.

Lawmakers also passed a House bill to provide legal protections for doctors who recommend medical marijuana as well as authorized medical facilities that have cannabis patients in their care. The vote was 34-2 in the Senate on Friday, and a committee amendment meant it had to head back to its originating chamber, which made an 80-11 vote of concurrence on Sunday, sending the legislation to the governor.

A House-passed resolution to create “a task force to study and make recommendations relative to the cannabis industry projected workforce demands” was given final approval by the Senate on Sunday in a vote of 28-6. Text of the legislation states that “there is a need to study the workforce demands and the skills necessary to supply the cannabis industry with a capable and compete workforce, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners.”

Also on Sunday, the House voted 95-0 to reject changes to a bill to establish rules for industrial hemp and CBD products. On Friday, the Senate had voted 34-0 to advance the legislation while adding an amendment allowing regulators to obtain criminal records of applicants. The House speaker, who is the lead sponsor of the legislation, took exception to the language and is now seeking a bicameral conference committee to reach an agreement.

Bagley, the medical cannabis expansion legislation sponsor, had also introduced a House-passed bill to provide for delivery services to patients, but he voluntarily withdrew it from Senate committee consideration last month and told Marijuana Moment it’s because he felt the medical marijuana expansion legislation would already allow cannabis products to be delivered to patients like other traditional pharmaceuticals.

The delivery bill would have required a government regulatory body to develop “procedures and regulations relative to delivery of dispensed marijuana to patients by designated employees or agents of the pharmacy.”

It remains to be seen if regulators will agree with Bagley’s interpretation, as doctors are still prohibited from “prescribing” cannabis, and marijuana products are not dispensed through traditional pharmacies. That said, state officials recently released a memo authorizing dispensaries to temporarily deliver cannabis to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s possible they will be amendable to extending that policy on a permanent basis.

The Senate was also slated to consider separate House bills adding specific new medical cannabis qualifying conditions over the weekend but did not bring them up. It’s not clear what the practical impact of those proposals would be if Bagley’s broader measure allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any debilitating malady is enacted.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
To me, this is not a viable medical marijuana program, recent changes notwithstanding.

" Physicians may recommend any form of marijuana other than smoked or “raw or crude” cannabis, in accordance with rules promulgated by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Beginning in 2019, the legislature approved allowing the vaporization of marijuana via a “metered-dose inhaler.”

 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
There's a news clip that couldn't be embedded.... follow title link to view.

Louisiana doctors can recommend medical marijuana for any illness under new law

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Governor John Bel Edwards signed a new law Tuesday that will allow any doctor to recommend medical marijuana to any patient they believe it will help.

Under previous law, doctors could only prescribe medical marijuana for a list of 16 specific conditions.

“The list was very straight forward and strict about what would qualify,” said Dr. Victor Chou of the Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana.

Dr. Chou said the previous law was confusing for physicians. “Someone that had PTSD could qualify but someone who had anxiety could not.. so it was always a little confusing for us as physicians for as to why certain things were on the list and certain things were not.”

People who wanted to be prescribed medical marijuana under the previous law had to jump over several hurdles including multiple doctor visits to specific types of doctors.

“The more we learn about medical marijuana the more it can benefit large numbers of patients,” Dr. Chou said.

The first medical marijuana patient in Louisiana, Gary Hess advocates for legalization. Hess suffers from PTSD from his service in the military.

The veteran said the availability of medical marijuana is a matter of life or death for many veterans.

“Just like so many other marines who have served under me, it got to the point where they took their own lives with their own pharmaceutical medications prescribed to them by the VA,” Hess said.

Hess said the new law is a big win but there is progress to be made.

“There’s a lot… there are huge strides being made in Louisiana but we have a long way to go we are in the infancy of our program,” Hess said.
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Today! New Medical Cannabis laws Aug 1, 2020 for Louisiana
A GROWING MOVEMENT

Louisiana joins a growing number of states increasingly ignoring federal prohibition, and nullifying it in practice.
Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. Michigan followed suit when voters legalized cannabis for general use in 2018. Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a legislative act in 2018. Illinois followed suit in 2019.
With 33 states including allowing cannabis for medical use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.
The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.
Efforts to expand medical marijuana laws in Louisiana underscore another important strategic reality. Once a state legalizes marijuana – even if only in a very limited way – it tends to eventually expand. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law. These new laws represent a further erosion of unconstitutional federal marijuana prohibition.
Tags: cannabis, HB211, HB418, HB819, Louisiana, Marijuana
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana Flower For Patients


A bill to allow medical marijuana patients in Louisiana to access raw cannabis flower cleared a key House committee on Thursday—two days after the full chamber approved complementary legislation on taxing those products if they are legalized.

The House Health and Welfare Committee easily passed the marijuana flower bill in a 12-1 vote.

It would amend the state’s existing medical cannabis law to make it so physicians may recommend raw marijuana products intended for inhalation. Dispensaries could sell up to two and a half ounces of flower cannabis to each patient in a 14-day period.

Patients under 21 would need to have a “written order from a physician specifically recommending marijuana in raw or crude form for that person” to access those products.

If the legislature ultimately approves the proposal, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Tanner Magee (R), it would become effective on January 1, 2022.

Meanwhile, the full House on Tuesday passed a related bill from Magee that would impose the state’s 4.45 percent sales tax on raw cannabis products. Non-smokeable marijuana items like tinctures and edibles would not be subject to that tax.

The legislation cleared the chamber in a 70-25 vote, signaling that the broader measure is likely to be approved when it heads to the floor. The tax bill is now advancing to the Senate for consideration.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

Support for medical cannabis is strong among Louisiana voters, but it’s also the case that 67 percent of residents say marijuana should be legal for both therapeutic and recreational purposes, according to a poll released last year.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee


Louisiana lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana in the state as well as a separate decriminalization proposal in committee votes, with additional cannabis reform proposals slated for consideration on Thursday.

Following debate, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee advanced the legalization legislation in a 7-5 vote and the decriminalization bill with a 6-5 tally. They now head to the full chamber.

The broader proposal would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess marijuana from licensed retailers. Possession of up to two and a half pounds of cannabis would be lawful. Regulators would be tasked with creating a permit for adults to grow up to six plants for personal use.

As originally introduced, the bill from Rep. Richard Nelson (R) would have placed the question of legalization before voters in November 2022 and then decriminalized possession if it was approved. The sponsor introduced a substitute version that excluded the referendum component, and members of the panel adopted the amended measure before voting to pass it.

The latest iteration also includes a new provision that gives local jurisdictions the ability to opt out of allowing cannabis businesses in their area.

“There’s a proverb that says ‘no matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, turn back,'” Nelson said in his opening remarks. “That, I think, sums up our marijuana policy in a nutshell. We’ve basically relied on prohibition for the last 70 years, and I think that now it’s time that we reevaluate where we are.”

There was significant discussion in committee dedicated to polling that shows Louisiana voters strongly support legalizing marijuana, as well as the seeming inevitability of the policy change taking place given the spread of the state-level reform movement across the country.

The bill does not lay out a tax structure for the regulated cannabis market, but complementary legislation that’s also sponsored by Nelson would fill in that gap. It’s been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it will receive a hearing on Thursday.

One member of the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee introduced an amendment at Tuesday’s hearing that would’ve made it so the legalization bill would only be implemented if the separate tax legislation passed, but that was defeated in a tie vote.

The separate bill to decriminalize cannabis possession and distribution that advanced would be contingent on the legislature approving a proposal to regulate sales in order to take effect.

The House Agriculture Committee will consider an additional marijuana legalization proposal on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a bill to allow medical marijuana patients in Louisiana to access raw cannabis flower cleared a key House committee on last week. The full chamber also recently approved complementary legislation on taxing those products if they are legalized.

The legislation would amend the state’s existing medical cannabis law to make it so physicians may recommend raw marijuana products intended for inhalation. Dispensaries could sell up to two and a half ounces of flower cannabis to each patient in a 14-day period.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana House Votes To Legalize Medical Marijuana Flower And Advances Bill To Prepare For Recreational Legalization


The Louisiana House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill that would expand the state’s current limited medical marijuana program by allowing patients to purchase whole-flower cannabis. They also advanced another proposal that would establish licensing fees for for recreational marijuana if the state opts to legalize it under separate legislation.

Members additionally gave the green light to a measure that’s meant to align Louisiana’s hemp program with the federal rules for the crop that were finalized and took effect under the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month.

Lawmakers in the state have been advancing a series of marijuana reform bills in recent weeks. But arguably the most consequential measure is one from Rep. Richard Nelson (R) that would establish a recreational cannabis market in the state.

That legislation was approved by the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee last week and is expected to come to the floor for consideration later this week.

The companion licensing proposal, which is also being sponsored by Nelson, passed the House on second reading on Monday without debate. It would establish a $2,500 annual fee for cannabis business licenses and a $100 annual fee for a personal cultivation permit.

Additionally, it would stipulate that, if the state takes in more dollars from those fees than it needs to cover administrative costs, those excess funds would go to individual municipalities and law enforcement.

The chamber gave final passage on Monday to legislation that would allow medical marijuana patients in Louisiana to access raw cannabis flower. After being approved on a 73-26 vote, the bill, which is sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee (R), now heads to the Senate.

“One of the reasons why we’re doing this is because the opioid crisis has been so costly to the people of our state,” Magee said prior to the vote. “It’s been so costly to them. This is a better version. If you’re on hydrocodone, yeah, it treats your pain, but it’s highly addictive. It has lots of side effects that we don’t like.”

The bill would amend the state’s existing medical cannabis law to make it so physicians may recommend raw marijuana products intended for inhalation. Dispensaries could sell up to two and a half ounces of flower cannabis to each patient in a 14-day period.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

While advocates generally expect resistance from the governor, who has repeatedly expressed opposition to adult-use legalization, he did say last week that he has “great interest” in the legalization proposal, and he pledged to take a serious look at its various provisions.

“As I almost always do, I will take a look at the bill as it arrives on my desk and see what it contains and what amendments have been added to it,” the governor said. “I’m not going to speculate now on that, but I do have great interest in that bill and what it says, especially if it does make it up to the fourth floor. I’ll take a look at it at that point and then make sure that you all know exactly how I feel about it.”

As state lawmakers have continued to advance these marijuana reform bills, two new polls—including one personally commissioned by a top Republican lawmaker—show that a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use.

A bill to establish taxes for flower marijuana products for patients, which passed the House last month, was initially scheduled for consideration by a Senate panel on Monday, but it’s been pushed back until next week.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill As Other Reforms Advance


The Louisiana House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, while a committee advanced separate legislation to impose taxes on cannabis sales if the state ends up enacting broader legalization.

Meanwhile, a measure to legalize marijuana sales is scheduled for a vote on the House floor on Wednesday after being delayed from earlier consideration while the sponsor has worked to build support.

Tuesday’s action on the narrower decriminalization bill is the latest example of marijuana reform advancing in the traditionally conservative legislature this session.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Cedric Glover (D), has gone through several changes since its introduction.

Originally it would have made it so possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis punishable by a $50 fine and no jail time. And while it was gutted in committee last week to maintain a penalty of $300 and/or 15 days in jail, a floor amendment was approved on Tuesday that again removed the threat of incarceration and set the fine at $100.

Members approved the revised bill in a 67-25 vote.

“This bill is about common ground,” Glover said prior to the vote. “You know there are all different iterations of us in here today, black, white, male, female, big, small, conservative, progressive—and many of us who may not agree on as much as 90 plus percent of any given topic, especially when it comes to something as controversial as marijuana.”

“The possession of a small amount of marijuana should no longer result in two things,” he said. “One is setting out a result, and a path, that leads you to becoming a convicted felon. And neither should it set you on a path to go to prison.”

In the House Ways and Means Committee, legislation to impose taxes on cannabis sales if Louisiana ends prohibition passed by a voice vote.

As amended by the committee, adults would pay a 15 percent sales tax on cannabis products, in addition to state and local taxes. The resulting revenues would be split between the state general fund and the local local jurisdictions where sales take place, with a chunk of the latter going to support law enforcement. The panel also advanced separate legislation to repeal a current law that requires illicit cannabis sellers to purchase tax stamps for their products. It would only take effect if legalization passes.

Meanwhile, the House approved a bill from Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R) on Monday that is meant to align Louisiana’s hemp program with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules for the crop that were finalized and took effect in March.

Additionally, a Senate committee advanced a bill on Monday that would impose taxes on raw marijuana flower if those smokeable products are legalized for medical use under another measure that cleared the House last week.

Advocates are closely monitoring each of these developments, but the adult-use legalization bill from Rep. Richard Nelson (R) is receiving the most attention.

It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess marijuana from licensed retailers. Possession of up to two and a half pounds of cannabis would be lawful. Regulators would be tasked with creating a permit for adults to grow up to six plants for personal use.

The measure has twice been rescheduled for House floor action at the request of Nelson, who has worked on amendments intended to increase support in what is expected to be a close vote. One proposal that has been posted would remove the home cultivation provisions to address concerns that have been raised by law enforcement.

A separate measure from Nelson that the chamber is set to consider this week would establish a $2,500 annual fee for cannabis business licenses and a $100 annual fee for a personal cultivation permit.

There is an additional decriminalization bill moving through the legislature as well.

That legislation, sponsored by Rep. Candace Newell (D), would simply remove the existing criminal penalties for possession, distribution and dispensing of cannabis “if the legislature provides for a statutory regulatory system for the legal sale and distribution of marijuana and establishes a sales tax on those sales.”

When it comes to broader legalization, while advocates have generally expected resistance from the governor, who has repeatedly expressed opposition to the reform, he did say last month that he has “great interest” in the legalization proposal, and he pledged to take a serious look at its various provisions.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

As state lawmakers have continued to advance these marijuana reform bills, two recent polls—including one personally commissioned by a top Republican lawmaker—show that a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Heads To Senate Floor As Recreational Legalization Vote Delayed Again


A bill to legalize smokable medical marijuana for patients that already passed the Louisiana House was approved in a Senate committee on Wednesday, sending it to the full chamber for a final vote.

The move comes one day after the House advanced legislation to decriminalize cannabis possession and another committee cleared a measure to impose taxes on marijuana sales if the states legalizes it for recreational use.

A separate proposal to enact legalization, meanwhile, has again been delayed for House floor consideration, with a vote now expected next Tuesday.

But while that represents the most ambitious cannabis reform bill to move through the conservative legislature this session, advocates are encouraged by Wednesday’s vote to allow patients in the state’s limited medical cannabis program to access raw, smokable flower marijuana products. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved the legislation in a 6-1 vote.

A separate, complementary measure to impose taxes on flower medical cannabis passed in the House last month and advanced out of a Senate committee on Monday.

Also on Monday, the House approved a bill from Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R) that is meant to align Louisiana’s hemp program with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules for the crop that were finalized and took effect in March.

Advocates are closely monitoring each of these developments—and there have been a lot this session—but the adult-use legalization bill from Rep. Richard Nelson (R) is receiving the most attention.

It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess marijuana from licensed retailers. Possession of up to two and a half pounds of cannabis would be lawful. Regulators would be tasked with creating a permit for adults to grow up to six plants for personal use.

The measure has now been rescheduled for House floor action three times at the request of Nelson, who has worked on amendments intended to increase support in what is expected to be a close vote. One proposal that has been posted would remove the home cultivation provisions to address concerns that have been raised by law enforcement.

A separate proposal from Nelson that the chamber is set to consider next week would establish a $2,500 annual fee for cannabis business licenses and a $100 annual fee for a personal cultivation permit.

And on Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved another complementary Nelson bill to impose taxes on cannabis sales if Louisiana ends prohibition. As amended by the committee, adults would pay a 15 percent sales tax on cannabis products, in addition to state and local taxes. The resulting revenues would be split between the state general fund and the local local jurisdictions where sales take place, with a chunk of the latter going to support law enforcement.

On Wednesday, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee also approved a revised version of a bill from Rep. Candace Newell (D) that would establish certain regulations for a legal marijuana market, and it includes a set of provisions that are meant to promote social equity in the industry.

Under the decriminalization measure that cleared the House on Tuesday, possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis would be punishable by a $100 fine and no jail time.

There is an additional decriminalization bill moving through the legislature as well, and it’s awaiting scheduling for final consideration in the House. That legislation, also sponsored by Newell, would simply remove the existing criminal penalties for possession, distribution and dispensing of cannabis “if the legislature provides for a statutory regulatory system for the legal sale and distribution of marijuana and establishes a sales tax on those sales.”

A House committee on Tuesday also advanced separate legislation to repeal a current law that requires illicit cannabis sellers to purchase tax stamps for their products. It would only take effect if legalization passes.

When it comes to broader legalization, while advocates have generally expected resistance from the governor, who has repeatedly expressed opposition to the reform, he did say last month that he has “great interest” in the legalization proposal, and he pledged to take a serious look at its various provisions.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

As state lawmakers have continued to advance these marijuana reform bills, two recent polls—including one personally commissioned by a top Republican lawmaker—show that a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Marijuana Legalization Effort Stalls After House Rejects Complementary Tax Proposal


An effort to legalize marijuana in Louisiana appeared to reach a dead end on Tuesday, with the House of Representatives rejecting a complementary measure to impose taxes on cannabis sales ahead of a scheduled vote on the broader proposal.

Advocates have been closely monitoring the legislature this session as numerous cannabis reform proposals move through the traditionally conservative state—including bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and legalize the smoking of cannabis flower by medical patients.

The recreational legalization bill from Rep. Richard Nelson (R) represented the most comprehensive piece of marijuana legislation to advance. But with the House voting against the related tax bill, it appears likely that the main measure would face a similar fate if the sponsor insisted on a floor vote. The legalization measure, along with another companion bill setting licensing fees for cannabis businesses, were scheduled for floor consideration on Tuesday but Nelson moved to have them set aside.

The overall plan would have allowed adults 21 and older to purchase and possess marijuana from licensed retailers. Possession of up to two and a half pounds of cannabis would have been lawful.

Under one version of the bill, regulators would have been tasked with creating a permit for adults to grow up to six plants for personal use, but Nelson was prepared to remove that provision with an amendment he filed in an effort to build support from colleagues. The sponsor also floated a change that would have delayed legalization’s taking effect until cannabis is federally rescheduled.

The complementary bill that would have levied a 15 percent sales tax on cannabis products, in addition to state and local taxes. It would also have divided tax revenue between the state general fund and the local local jurisdictions where sales take place. It lost in a vote of 47-48, while 70 votes were needed to meet the two-thirds threshold for passage of tax legislation.

The separate fee measure from Nelson would have established a $2,500 annual fee for cannabis business licenses and a $100 annual fee for a personal cultivation permit.

Legalization’s stalling comes on the heels of a new poll showing that constituents in some of the most firmly Republican districts in the state support the policy change.

This also comes after the governor of another traditionally conservative state, Alabama, signed a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The developments on the Louisiana legalization legislation and the connected bills comes as several other cannabis reform measures are advancing. Here’s a breakdown of where those pieces of legislation stand:

HB 652: Decriminalize possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana, making it punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of jail time. Status: The legislation cleared the House last week and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 391: Allow medical marijuana patients to access smokable, whole-flower cannabis products. Status: The bill passed the House and one Senate committee this month. It is now on the Senate floor.

HB 514: Impose taxes on flower medical marijuana products if they are legalized. Status: The measure was approved in the House last month and also advanced through the committee process in the Senate, where it now awaits a floor vote.

HB 243: Remove criminal penalties for marijuana if it is legalized. Status: This proposal cleared the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee last month and is awaiting scheduling for a House floor vote.

HB 709: Establish certain regulations for a marijuana market if legalized, including provisions meant to promote social equity in the industry. Status: The bill was approved on second reading in the House on Monday as a substitute for a prior measure that advanced out of committee.

HB 640: Align Louisiana’s hemp regulations with federal rules that were finalized and took effect in March. Status: The House approved the measure last week and the Senate Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Committee lightly amended and approved it on Tuesday.

HB 567: Repeal a current law that requires illicit cannabis sellers to purchase tax stamps for their products. Status: The bill was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee last week and is scheduled for floor debate on Tuesday.

When it comes to broader legalization, while advocates generally expected resistance from Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who has repeatedly expressed opposition to the reform, he did say last month that he has “great interest” in the legalization proposal, and he pledged to take a serious look at its various provisions.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Edwards signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

Two other recent polls—including one personally commissioned by a top Republican lawmaker—have found that a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Louisiana Senate Approves Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill


The Louisiana Senate on Thursday approved a bill to give patients in the state’s medical marijuana program the ability to legally smoke cannabis flower.

The move, which comes a week after an effort to more broadly legalize marijuana in the state stalled in the House of Representatives, would mark a significant expansion to the current medical cannabis law if enacted. As it stands, patients are able to vaporize cannabis preparations via a “metered-dose inhaler,” but they cannot access whole-plant flower and smoking is not allowed.

The legislation cleared the Senate by a vote of 26-11 after previously being approved by the House. It would have headed directly to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), but the body quickly brought the measure back up and added technical amendments, meaning it must first go back to the other chamber for concurrence.

The governor of Minnesota signed a large-scale spending bill on Tuesday that similarly includes a provision to add smokable marijuana to that state’s medical cannabis program.

In Louisiana, senators also took up a companion House bill on Wednesday to tax medical cannabis flower. The body approved a floor amendment to extend the state’s general sales tax and steer the resulting revenue to infrastructure projects and utilities, but it was recommitted to committee before a final vote on the legislation was held.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee approved a House-passed bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana on Tuesday, sending it to the full chamber for final passage. That measure would make it so possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis would be punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of jail time.

On Monday, the House passed a resolution requesting the legislature conduct a formal study on the impacts of recreational marijuana legalization prior to the start of the 2022 session. It was approved by a vote of 63-27.

Numerous cannabis-related bills have been advancing in the conservative state this year, the most far-reaching of which is a proposal to legalize marijuana for adult-use. It hit a dead end last week, however, when the House defeated a companion bill to tax recreational sales. Its sponsor then pulled the legalization measure and a separate complementary bill on licensing fees.

The governor said in a radio appearance last week that while full legalization hit a roadblock this year, he does believe it “is going to happen in Louisiana eventually.” He also spoke about the decriminalization and medical cannabis flower bills as examples of reform’s general momentum.

The developments on various cannabis-related legislation comes on the heels of a new pollshowing that constituents in some of the most firmly Republican districts in the state support legalizing marijuana.

When it comes to legalization, while advocates generally expected resistance from Edwards, who has repeatedly expressed opposition to the reform, he did say last month that he has “great interest” in the legalization proposal, and he pledged to take a serious look at its various provisions.

Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.

Edwards signed the measure in June 2020 and it took effect weeks later.

Two other recent polls—including one personally commissioned by a top Republican lawmaker—have found that a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use.
 

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