If you’re wondering, “how do I get a medical card in Louisiana,” you’re not alone! Louisiana’s medical marijuana system is slightly different from other states. Although there is a central registry for medical cannabis, Louisiana doesn’t issue medical marijuana cards. Once the provider has placed you into the registry, they will send your prescription to your chosen medical cannabis pharmacy. Using a standard ID, such as a driver’s license, you can then pick up your medication. This process eliminates a step (along with a lot of paperwork!) and makes the process easier. Please note, your provider can only send the prescription to one pharmacy at a time.
However, unlike most other medical states, Louisiana does not allow cannabis patients to grow their own medicine, which can pose a financial burden. Additionally, it can be challenging to find doctors who register Louisiana medical cannabis patients, and there are still relatively few dispensaries in the state.
Quick Guide to getting Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Since you need to know how to get a medical card in Louisiana to obtain cannabis, there are just two steps in the process of getting Louisiana medical certification.
- Determine if you have a qualifying condition: Louisiana residents can qualify for medical marijuana if they have a qualifying condition. See below for the list of recognized ailments.
- Schedule a doctor’s consultation: A doctor licensed to prescribe medical cannabis in the state of Louisiana will evaluate you. If they think cannabis is appropriate to your condition, they will enter you into the state registry.
Read on for more information.
How to Get on the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Registry
Determine if you have a qualifying condition
Louisiana law allows cannabis to be prescribed for a range of medical conditions, one of which is “intractable pain”. Intractable pain essentially means pain so severe it would otherwise require opiates or be untreatable. To view the full list of qualifying conditions, please visit, https://www.ldaf.state.la.us/medical-marijuana/ and go to the FAQs.:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Cachexia (aka wasting syndrome)
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- HIV or AIDS
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
2. Schedule a doctor’s consultation
In Louisiana, doctors need to have a special certification to prescribe medical cannabis, and qualifying doctors can be challenging to find in some areas. We can help you navigate the process, find a doctor become eligible, and only be charged if you succeed.
Once you find a doctor, bring your medical record and ID along for a consultation. The doctor will examine your medical history and conduct an exam to determine if you qualify. If you do, they will enter you into the state database and provide a certificate of recommendation, which they will fax to your local MMJ pharmacy.
Medical Marijuana Pharmacies in Louisiana
Even though you don’t need to obtain a Louisiana medical marijuana card, Louisiana does have very rigid rules about what types of cannabis products are allowed and where you can get them. Medical marijuana products are produced in a state-regulated monopoly, and cannabis is not permitted in its raw form. Available today are several options. Oral options include cannabis tinctures, which is the concentrated extract applied under the tongue via a dropper, a distillate syringe or extract (RSO) for oral administration, an oral spray under the tongue, gelatin-based chewables, an edible form of cannabis medication, or pills and capsules. Topicals or skin absorption options include a topical cream or oil that can be applied to the skin, transdermal patches, and suppositories. For inhalation options; metered-dose inhalers and distillates (Vapes) delivering a certain amount of medicine through your mouth and into your lungs.
Louisiana has also limited medical marijuana pharmacies to one per region. While that may change eventually, it will be some time until patients have ample choice in medical cannabis treatments, unfortunately. Louisiana medical marijuana patients should consider supplementing their medical cannabis with CBD products, which are legal in all fifty states. Knowing how to get a Louisiana medical card is unnecessary. CBD is one of the essential ingredients found in medical cannabis, which can help alleviate many symptoms without THC’s psychoactive effects. Here are some great CBD products to make your medical marijuana more effective.