Louisiana Marijuana laws

8 min read

Louisiana Marijuana laws

January 27, 2023

Louisiana was the first state in the south to legalize medical cannabis in 1991, but the law was not implemented until 2015. The state has a very limited medical cannabis program, with only a few dispensaries and a limited number of medical conditions that qualify for treatment with cannabis. Despite these limitations, the program has been expanding in recent years, with more dispensaries opening and more medical conditions being added to the list of qualifying illnesses.

However, despite the limited medical cannabis program, there have been efforts in recent years to expand access to cannabis for medical use and to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Some lawmakers and advocacy groups have pushed for more lenient cannabis laws, but progress has been slow. Despite this, cannabis laws in Louisiana remain relatively restrictive compared to other states. It is important for residents to understand the laws and any changes that are being proposed in order to stay informed and avoid any legal issues.

As already mentioned, marijuana is legal in Louisiana for medicinal use only, and only in the form of low-THC cannabis oil. This includes tinctures, oils, and extracts. The state has passed a law allowing patients with certain medical conditions to access medical marijuana, but dispensaries have not yet been established.

The most recent change in Louisiana marijuana laws allows physicians to prescribe or recommend the smokable form of marijuana, which was previously not permitted. Prior to this change, the only forms of marijuana that could be recommended by doctors were gummies or cream. Now, individuals can obtain the smokable form from a licensed pharmacy with a physician’s recommendation.

As medical research on cannabis continues to advance, it is likely that laws and regulations regarding the use of medical marijuana in Louisiana will become more lenient in the near future.

How Do I Get Certified for Medical Cannabis in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the medical marijuana program is managed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). To become a medical marijuana patient in Louisiana, you must first meet certain qualifications. Patients must have a debilitating medical condition that is listed as a qualifying condition under Louisiana law, and must be certified by a Louisiana-licensed physician who is registered with the LDAF.

The form must be completed by the physician and must include the patient’s diagnosis and medical records. Once the form is complete, the patient must submit it to the LDAF along with a copy of their driver’s license or state ID and a $50 application fee.

Once the application is received and reviewed by the LDAF, the patient will be notified of their acceptance into the program. Once accepted, the patient will be issued a medical marijuana ID card, which must be presented to a licensed dispensary to purchase medical marijuana. The patient must also renew their certification and ID card every year. Patients must also have a written recommendation and certification from a Louisiana-licensed physician registered with the LDAF.

Qualifying Conditions 

On August 1st, 2020, a new legislation was implemented in Louisiana, which expanded the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis and also allowed physicians to recommend cannabis for any condition that they believe is debilitating for a specific patient, giving them more discretion in the process.

To qualify for a medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana, patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition listed as a qualifying condition under Louisiana marijuana laws. Some examples of qualifying conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy
  • Severe muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Intractable pain
  • Autism 

What Are the Privileges Granted by an MMJ Card in Louisiana?

A medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana grants patients the legal right to purchase and possess medical marijuana for their qualifying condition. The state of Louisiana allows medical marijuana to be consumed in various forms, such as extracts, oils, pills, tinctures, solutions, suspensions, chewabless, lotions, patches, sprays, suppositories, and a form for vaporization.

It is important to note that possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal in Louisiana, and only authorized medical marijuana patients can have access to it.

Holders of a medical marijuana certificate are allowed to possess a maximum supply of medical marijuana, as determined by their physician, for a period of 30 days.

As of January 1st, 2022, patients who are registered in the state’s medical cannabis program have been authorized to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis flower per 14-day period from licensed providers. This change in law was brought into effect after Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 391. 

How Can I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate As a Caregiver in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, there may be some patients who meet the criteria for a medical marijuana certificate but are unable to apply for one on their own. One example is when the patient is a minor under 18 years old and has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition. In this case, a parent or legal guardian can be appointed as a caregiver to apply for the certificate on the patient’s behalf. This is to ensure that the minor receives appropriate treatment and care. Additionally, for minors with autism spectrum disorder, the use of medical cannabis must be approved by a pediatrician or pediatric subspecialist prior to the application.

It is crucial to note that the caregiver application process is separate from the patient application process. The caregiver must submit their own application and pay the application fee. Caregivers are also subject to background checks and must comply with all state laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana.

It is always recommended to check the LDAF website for the most current laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana, as laws and regulations are subject to change.

Cannabis Retailer Permits

The guidelines for obtaining a cannabis retailer permit in Louisiana are distinct from other types of licenses. Some of the general eligibility criteria include:

  • The applicant must be 21 years of age or older
  • Additionally, they must provide proof of a valid lease or ownership of desired premises
  • Retail locations can not be in locations with drug-free zones. Additionally, these retail dispensaries also have to make sure to contain a restricted area where cannabis and cannabis products are stored and sold.

If you have been granted a retailer license in Louisiana, it is not allowed to:

  • Sell more than an ounce of cannabis or cannabis products to an individual in one day
  • Sell cannabis or cannabis products over the internet
  • Also, you can not sell or give away tobacco, alcohol, or food products.

Where Can I Use Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the use of medical marijuana is only allowed within the private property of the patient or their designated caregiver. It is illegal to use medical marijuana in public spaces or on any federal property. Additionally, it is important to note that employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, and some landlords may have restrictions on the use of medical marijuana on their property. It is always recommended to check with your employer or landlord to ensure that the consumption of medical marijuana is allowed in those specific locations. 

Driving and Smoking Is Prohibited

It is also important to note that it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, and you should never consume marijuana before operating a vehicle or heavy machinery.

It is always recommended to check the LDAF website for the most current laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana, as laws and regulations are subject to change.

If you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana, you may face both criminal and civil penalties. Criminal penalties can include jail time, fines, and license suspensions. If you cause an accident while under the influence of marijuana, you could also be held liable for any injuries or damages suffered by others in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. 

Marijuana Advertising under Louisiana Marijuana Laws

Based on Louisiana marijuana laws, you are not allowed to advertise through any public medium, including newspapers, billboards, television, radio, internet, social media, or any other means designed to market your products to the general public. You are only allowed to promote your products through direct mail, brochures, or other means to Louisiana-licensed physicians. 

As a marijuana pharmacy in Louisiana, advertisements for your products are only permitted if you do not make any false or misleading statements about them. You can only advertise that your products have been tested by an approved laboratory. Additionally, you are allowed to attach a maximum of two signs on the exterior of your pharmacy building, identifying the business by its business or trade name, as long as the size of each sign does not exceed 1,600 square inches.

Out-of-State Patients:

Louisiana marijuana laws do not recognize out-of-state registrations. For more information about traveling as a medical cannabis patient.

Home Cultivation:

Growing cannabis at home is illegal in the state of Louisiana.


Cannabis laws in Louisiana are relatively restrictive compared to other states. The possession, sale, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal, except for medical use, which is legal but highly regulated. Despite these restrictions, there have been efforts to expand access to medical cannabis and decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

It is important to note that the information provided above is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. It is always best to check the state laws and consult with a lawyer if you have any questions or concerns about cannabis laws in Louisiana.