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How to Get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card in 2020

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Aug 21 2020 - 8 min read

Are you interested in getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana? You’ve come to the right place. We hope this article acts as a valuable guide to help you understand the process of applying for your medical marijuana recommendation letter. We keep this information up to date to make sure it is accurate and makes your journey as simple as possible. Keep reading to find out more.

Table of content
  1. Getting a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Online
  2. Who Can Apply?
  3. What Does an MMJ Certificate Permit in Louisiana?
  4. How do I Apply?
  5. What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?
  6. How Much Does it Cost?
  7. What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Certificate in Louisiana?
  8. What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Certificate?
  9. Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?
  10. How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate?
  11. Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Louisiana?
  12. Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate?
  13. Does Louisiana Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
  14. Getting a Medical Marijuana Certificate in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Bossier City
  15. History of Medical Marijuana Laws in Louisiana
  16. Louisiana Medical Marijuana Laws
  17. Useful Links

Getting a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card Online

Louisiana has recently relaxed its restrictions on medical marijauna recommendations, with a new bill coming into effect on 1 August 2020. From that date, doctors are able to recommend medical marijauna for any patients if they believe the use of medical marijuana would be of benefit.

Previously, there were strict restrictions and requirements on doctors in Louisiana who were registered to sign certificates. These restrictions have lifted but we recommend only speaking with a doctor who has experience with patients who are using medical marijuana.

However, Leafwell works with a number of state licensed physicians who are experienced with providing medical marijuana recommendations and have been doing so for a long time.

Please note, there are no medical marijauna cards in Louisiana. Instead, all you need is a certificate of recommendation from a state licensed doctor.

With Leafwell, it is quick and simple and secure to get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana recommendation letter online. We’ve put together this valuable guide which will answer all your questions and help individuals living in Louisiana State understand the importance of applying for their Louisiana MMJ recommendation letter or certificate via the easy, HIPAA Compliant process offered by Leafwell’s telemedicine platform. You can visit our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Medical Marijuana Card for more general information.

Who Can Apply?

To apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate in Louisiana, you must be a legal resident of Louisiana State.

There is no age restriction on the application but if the patient is under 18 and autistic, they may be allocated a caregiver. Other minors can apply on behalf of themselves.

Patients under 18 must have a primary caregiver and pediatric sub-specialist recommend their medical cannabis certification.

Registered caregivers must be aged 21 or over. A registered caregiver may apply on behalf of a minor who has been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder. They must be the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

What Does an MMJ Certificate Permit in Louisiana?

Anyone who is holding a medical marijuana certificate is permitted to be in possession of a maximum of 30 day supply (total amount determined by physician) of any of the following products:

  • Extracts
  • Oils
  • Pills
  • Tinctures
  • Solutions
  • Suspensions
  • Chewables
  • Lotions
  • Patches
  • Sprays
  • Suppositories

Every patient is different and your physician may recommend a specific form for you. They may recommend any form of marijuana other than smoked or “raw or crude” cannabis. In 2019, the legislature approved allowing the vaporization of marijuana via a “metered-dose inhaler.”

The Louisiana laws are strict and if a patient or caregiver is found to be knowingly possessing more than their 30-day supply of medical marijauna, they may face up to six months in prison and a fine of $500 (if it is their first offence).

How do I Apply?

With Leafwell, you can get your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certificate in 3 simple steps:

1. Register online with Leafwell

You can speak to a doctor and qualify for a Louisiana medical marijuana card online. The cost of the online consultation is $199 or $149 if you want to renew an existing card. You are only billed if approved.

2. Attend your appointment and discuss with your physician why you would like an MMJ Card

The doctor will ask you questions based on your medical history and provide you with advice and guidance on whether medical marijuana is a good choice for you.

3. Receive your certificate from Leafwell

This will be emailed to you immediately after your successful appointment. We’ll also send you a hard copy in the post shortly afterwards but you only need the PDF version.

4. Start legally buying medical marijuana

Note that there are no ‘cards’ in Louisiana and instead you will be required to present your medical marijuana recommendation letter which is provided to you by Leafwell whenever you want to purchase medical marijuana. You can print off the PDF copy which we provide or wait for your hardcopy to arrive in the post.

Patients are not required to join a state registry.

Register Online Now

What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?

Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. In order to get started, we’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details as well as some medical records. These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners who can familiarise themselves with your application before your consultation.

The consultation itself is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with a Louisiana registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for a range of medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions with regards to your medical conditions and history.

At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner will be able to make an informed decision about whether he or she recommends the use of medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification which will be promptly emailed in PDF form. A hard copy will be sent in the post a few days later. Once you have this certificate, you can legally purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries in Louisiana.

If an application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email detailing why our registered practitioner felt unable to provide you with the certificate. You will not be charged for the consultation.

Once obtained the certification will last for one year.

How Much Does it Cost?

The initial consultation with one of the Louisiana Registered Practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA compliant online consultation service is a one off fee of $199. However, if you do not qualify for an MMJ Certificate and our practitioner elects not to sign your certificate, you will not be charged.

Insurance does not currently cover the cost of applying for an MMJ Certificate in Louisiana because cannabis is illegal at a federal level.

What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Certificate in Louisiana?

For your application to be successful, a registered practitioner must certify a permanent or temporary diagnosis of one or more of the conditions listed under Louisiana law.

On 1st August 2020 a new bill came into effect in Louisiana. In addition to listing a number of additional qualifying conditions, the law also permitted physicians to recommend cannabis for any condition which they as medical professionals ‘considers debilitating to an individual patient’, essentially opening up the bill to the discretion of the physician.

According to Louisiana law in 2020, the following conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana certificate in Louisiana:

  • ALS (from August 1, 2020)
  • Alzheimer’s (from August 1, 2020)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain  associated with fibromyalgia or sickle cell disease (from August 1, 2020)
  • Communication difficulties or avoidance that jeopardizes the patient’s physical health
  • Concussion (from August 1, 2020)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Destructive or physically aggressive behaviors
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable pain
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease (from August 1, 2020)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Self-Injuring Behaviors
  • Severe Muscle Spasms
  • Spasticity
  • Traumatic brain injury (from August 1, 2020)
  • Wasting Syndrome/Cachexia

The definition of ‘intractable pain’ is:

“a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated with the consent of the patient and which, in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure for the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts. It is pain so chronic and severe as to otherwise warrant an opiate prescription.”

Certain conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder also qualify to be treated with medical marijuana. They include the following:

  • Repetitive or self-stimulatory behavior of such severity that the physical health of the person with autism is jeopardized
  • Avoidance of others or inability to communicate of such severity that the physical health of the person with autism is jeopardized
  • Self-injuring behavior
  • Physically aggressive or destructive behavior

Note that this list is up to date as of August 2020. Legislation or the Commissioner of Health may add additional conditions, at which time, Leafwell will update this list.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Certificate?

In order to apply for your MMJ Certificate in Louisiana, you will need to show your signed certificate which provides proof of your condition as well as your identification documents. You should gather together the following:

  • ID
  • Proof of residency
  • A signed certificate (which can be obtained via Leafwell)

Below are all of the acceptable forms these documents may take.

Acceptable ID

  • Valid, unexpired Driver’s License
  • State-produced Identification Card
  • Passport

Acceptable proof of residency

  • Bank statement
  • Utility bill
  • Correspondence with a state department

Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?

Yes. In order to responsibly sign a certificate which permits individuals to apply for an MMJ card, our registered practitioners must have a comprehensive understanding of your medical history. This allows them to provide an accurate assessment to ensure that medical cannabis is a good option for each patient on a case by case basis.

How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate?

Some patients may be eligible for an MMJ Certificate but unable to apply for one themselves. Should the patient be a minor under the age of 18 and diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a caregiver can be allocated. This caregiver must be a parent or legal guardian.

There is currently no information about whether a patient in need of assistance accessing medical cannabis can be assigned a caregiver to complete the process on their behalf.

Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Louisiana?

No. Cultivating cannabis is illegal in the state of Louisiana for qualified medical marijuana patients.It is not legal at this time for anyone within the State of Louisiana to grow marijuana for any purpose. Only licensed production facilities will be allowed to grow medical marijuana under Louisiana law. Growing marijuana for any purpose is still illegal under the federal law.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Certificate?

Yes. Leafwell is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients. Our online service is HIPAA compliant and our systems are designed to keep all of your confidential details safe.

Does Louisiana Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

No, Louisiana does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards or recommendations/certificates.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Certificate in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Bossier City

When it comes to obtaining your MMJ certificate from a licensed Louisiana physician, your geography does not matter. All that is required is that you are a resident of the state and that the doctor is a licensed physician in the state of Louisiana.

Some local jurisdictions in Louisiana have either fully or partially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis. Baton Rouge and New Orleans have decriminalized it entirely. We recommend you look up laws in your own city to see if there are any differences between city and state levels.

Leafwell does not currently have any dispensaries which we are partnering with but check back here soon to stay up to date. There are currently 9 approved dispensaries in the state.

Remember: you don’t have to visit a clinic in-person in order to qualify for a certificate & MMJ card in Louisiana – you can do it all online, with Leafwell!

History of Medical Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

Here is a brief overview of the history of medical marijuana legislation in Louisiana:

  • 1978 – the therapeutic marijuana legislation was first enacted making it one of the earliest states to do so but it only included patients with glaucoma and undergoing chemotherapy treatment
    Due to the wording of the bill, patients never actually received this medicine.
  • 1991 – spastic quadriplegia was added to the list of qualifying conditions but the language still meant it wasn’t enforceable.
  • 2015 – Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law which set up a framework designed to allow the dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes.
  • 2016 – a new law went into effect to exempt medical marijuana patients and caregivers from state prosecution
  • August 1, 2019 – the first round of medical marijauna was cleared for release and the first dispensaries were able to open
  • August 1, 2020 – a patient can qualify if they have a condition which their doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient” and their doctor must be “qualified through medical education and training to treat”

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Laws

Louisiana has strict driving while under the influence of drugs laws. If you’re caught driving with certain levels of THC in your system, you risk fines and a criminal record, as well also the loss of your license.

It is illegal to consume medical marijuana in public, even if you are in possession of your certificate.

To find out more about getting a Medical Marijuana Certificate in Louisiana, get in touch with the expert Leafwell team today or use any of these verified resources below:

Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. New to the cannabis sector, Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

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