Louisiana Expands Access to Medical Marijuana
Louisiana’s governor signed into law on June 11, 2020 a measure amending the state’s medical marijuana law to make it easier for patients to obtain medical marijuana. The current version of Louisiana’s medical marijuana law permits use of medical marijuana to treat only certain specified illnesses. The new law provides that any licensed physician in Louisiana may prescribe medical marijuana “for therapeutic use to any patient clinically diagnosed as suffering from a debilitating medical condition.” The law gives physicians broad latitude to determine what they consider to be “debilitating” for a particular patient. The law takes effect on August 1, 2020.
The governor also signed two additional laws related to medical marijuana. House Bill 418 provides immunity from prosecution to “any facility that is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health that has patients in its care using medical marijuana.” It further provides immunity from prosecution to physicians who prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. House Bill 211 facilitates the provision of financial services to state-licensed cannabis businesses and prohibits “penalizing” state banks and credit unions who provide such financial services. These laws also take effect on August 1, 2020.