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Louisiana Senate Passes Bill To Improve Patient Access To Medical Marijuana

Louisiana Senate Passes Bill To Improve Patient Access To Medical Marijuana

Louisiana is moving forward with a piece of legislation that would make medical marijuana move easily available in the state by authorizing recommendations from any state-licensed physician, while updating the list of qualifiable medical conditions. 

House Bill 819 passed Senate vote on Wednesday by 28 to 6. 

'A Huge Win for Patients'

The bill would make two significant changes to current marijuana legislation in the Bayou State.

First, it would allow any state-licensed physician to recommend medical marijuana for the treatment of debilitating health conditions.

Under current legislation, physicians need to be certified by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

The initial House Bill merely included two new items to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment - traumatic brain injuries and concussions. But under a Senate amendment, physicians would be able to recommend medical marijuana for any condition they consider debilitating to an individual patient.

The bill will now go back to the House for final consideration and is expected to be at Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk by Monday, June 1.

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Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare, a Louisiana licensed cultivator and processor, said this was a historic day for patients in the state. 

"What our legislators have done is provided a level of comfort to those in need. Instead of patients having to seek out registered medical marijiuana doctors in their proximity, they can see their own healthcare provider. This is a positive message to the people of Louisiana, this is a huge win for patients."

Picture: Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By Yousef Abdul-Husain on Wikimedia Commons.


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