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The Louisiana State Legislature signed bills in 2015 and 2016 that legalized the use of medical marijuana for patients with eligible conditions. As of August 2018, growers soon plan to have medicine available to supply to dispensaries. However, before anyone can buy medicinal cannabis from a dispensary, they must have a recommendation from a specially certified doctor. Learn more about medical marijuana and certified doctors in Louisiana.

Who Qualifies for Louisiana Cannabis Medicine?

You must have residency in Louisiana to qualify for medical marijuana. Make sure to bring a valid state ID during your appointments and dispensary visits.

In addition, you have to have one of the qualifying conditions under state law:

If you have an official diagnosis for one of these symptoms or disorders, you’re on the right track to getting approval from a doctor.

What Makes a Marijuana-Certified Doctor Different From a Regular One?

In Louisiana, you must get an evaluation from a doctor certified to write medical marijuana recommendations. While some states allow any licensed physician to authorize patients, Louisiana doctors must apply for a therapeutic marijuana permit. When you see a cannabis-certified physician, you benefit from:

  • Current Knowledge: Every doctor who holds a therapeutic marijuana permit receives medical cannabis training. They have an initial course to take before getting a permit and will also have continuing education.
  • A Compassionate Viewpoint: Physicians who obtain a medicinal cannabis license understand that marijuana has therapeutic properties. You don’t have to worry about facing stigma at the doctor’s office.
  • Diverse Experience: Marijuana-certified doctors come from all educational backgrounds, including neurology, pediatrics and holistic medicine. Every physician brings something different to the table, so you can choose a provider that fits your needs.

Who Oversees Cannabis Certification in Louisiana?

The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners handles all therapeutic marijuana licenses. They receive applications from physicians and issue permits to trained and qualified medical professionals. As the state’s authority on medical licenses, they also handle other forms of licensing.

Do I Need to Sign Up for a Medical Cannabis Card?

While some states require patients to sign up for a medical marijuana card before buying medicine, Louisiana only needs the recommendation from your doctor. Your doctor’s office and dispensary will verify your status as a state resident, but you don’t have to take any extra steps. However, remember to keep a copy of your recommendation on hand — it serves as proof that you have legal patient status.

What Do I Do After I Get a Recommendation?

Once you have a recommendation from a certified physician, you can fill it at a dispensary. Dispensaries sell cannabis medicine to authorized patients. They only sell medical marijuana, so you must go to a standard pharmacy to get pharmaceutical medicine. However, dispensaries in Louisiana offer a wide range of medical items made for a variety of conditions.

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Louisiana Medical Cannabis Program Details For Patients