The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday to significantly expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The new stipulations will allow for the expanding of qualifying conditions and for the creation of an at-home delivery service.
This only comes a week after the bill was advanced by the Health and Welfare Committee. As is the case with current law, physicians can only prescribe medical marijuana for specific conditions. Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Larry Bagley. His bill passed 76-15 and the delivery bill passed 80-15.
The expansion would allow for traumatic brain injuries and concussions to the list of conditions that qualify a patient for medical status. Currently, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy has approved 14 conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. The stance was motivated by information gathered from patients about the difficulty of retrieving cannabis products at pharmacies.
Some people will claim that cannabis is no good, while others claim it is a lifesaver. According to Bagley, "Everybody has a right to do it. That’s why we live in America." Tactfully, several other cannabis bills were filed as backups in case the chamber declined the broader version. This strategy shows the ground and state level support for cannabis in a state with some of the stricter cannabis regulations.
The cannabis delivery measure will set up an agency to regulate and develop the procedures for at-home delivery. The policy change marks another step forward for cannabis, albeit due to the negative effects of coronavirus.
The new measure will allow for delivery to residents' homes and hospitals. This reaction to the public health emergency shows the status of cannabis as essential in citizens' lives. The House bills will now move on to the Senate with the session to end on June 1st.