On May 27, 2015, the Louisiana House committee advanced a bill which would grant authority to state boards to establish a system for legal disbursement of medical marijuana. SB 143, which is sponsored by Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, passed in the House committee without exception and now only requires a vote by the full House of Representatives and Senatorial approval before it lands on Governor Bobby Jindal’s desk for signature.
Louisiana legalized medical marijuana in both 1978 and 1991. However, until now, there has been no mechanism for legal disbursement of the drug. Should the bill be adopted into law, three agencies would retain rule-making authority: the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Individuals with a prescription would be able to obtain the drug at one of ten (10) pre-designated dispensaries across the state. The use of the drug would be limited, however, to those suffering from glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, and chemotherapy treatment patients.
Whether Louisiana intends to lead the charge into the realm of medical marijuana, however, remains to be seen.