Louisiana Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
Decriminalized and Medical Program
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Louisiana State Information Page

  • Medical Cannabis Program only
  • Partially decriminalized for the entire state; there is local decriminalization in some areas including New Orleans and small possession is no longer convicted
  • Medical patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces every fourteen days; recreational possession is still illegal.
  • Cultivation is illegal; there are two licensed growers of Louisiana medical marijuana.
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Medical marijuana is now legal in Louisiana; however, recreational laws have not yet caught up. Lawmakers passed Louisiana medical marijuana laws in 2015, but the law wasn’t fully utilized until 2019 due to a language technicality within the policy.

The language of the medical marijuana law has since been amended and there are now two growers and nine licensed medical cannabis businesses selling cannabis products for therapeutic use to qualified patients in the state.  To apply for a medical card, a licensed doctor will just need to recommend cannabis for a debilitating condition.

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of penalties for Louisiana’s possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia.

  • Marijuana is a Schedule I substance in the state of Louisiana
  • Federally, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • For first and subsequent offenders, the new law states possession of fourteen grams or less of marijuana is punishable by a fine of no more than 100 USD and no possibility of incarceration.
  • Distribution or cultivation of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to 50,000 USD and 5-30 years of jail time.
  • Distribution of marijuana includes possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
  • Possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana within 2,000 feet of a drug-free zone is punishable by one and a half times the maximum sentence allowed for the underlying offense

The following is a list of the most common conditions that qualify for medical marijuanas (Louisiana): ​​

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Concussion
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hospice or palliative care
  • Huntington’s Disease 
  • Intractable Pain
  • Lewy-body dementia
  • Motor-neuron disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)​
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Non-Epileptic Seizures
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Severe muscle spasm
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Any debilitating medical condition wherein a physician’s medical opinion is that cannabis could help

Any physician licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to practice medicine in the state may recommend medical marijuana.

Does Louisiana accept out-of-state medical cards?

Louisiana medical marijuana law does not allow or offer legal protection for out-of-state medical marijuana cards at this time. 

When does my Louisiana medical card expire?

Medical cards expire every year.

Louisiana marijuana DUI laws

Per the Louisiana Department of Transportation, the penalties for driving under the influence per Louisiana’s state government are as follows:

  • The first offense is a mandatory minimum of ten days to six months in jail; a 300 USD to 1,000 USD fine; participation in a court-ordered substance abuse program; and participation in a court-ordered driver improvement program. 
  • The second offense is a mandatory minimum of thirty days to six months in jail with 48 hours served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence; 240 hours of community service; a 750 to 1000 USD fine; participation in a court-ordered substance abuse program; and participation in a driver improvement program.
  • The third offense is a mandatory minimum of one year up to five years in jail which may be suspended if the offender is accepted into a drug division probation program; a 2,000 USD fine; participation in a driver improvement program; participation in a substance abuse treatment program; and 240 hours of community service.

Louisiana marijuana growing laws

Louisiana’s medical marijuana program does not currently permit medical marijuana patients to cultivate their own cannabis and there are two state-licensed growers in the state. 

Louisiana public consumption laws

Public use and consumption of cannabis aren’t mentioned in the state’s legislation regarding controlled substances. Still, the statute does suggest penalties for the possession, production, manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis.

Louisiana city specific laws

The laws listed here are for the state. Cities, counties, schools, universities, and employers may set their own rules and consequences. Be sure to check how marijuana laws differ in each county or town before you use.

In a recent poll, 67 percent of Louisiana voters supported the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. 

Marijuana is currently not legal for recreational use in the state of Louisiana. Due to the medical program that has been established, it will be permitted for a Louisiana resident with a medical card only. A patient suffering from a condition that your physician considers debilitating, who have applied, and obtained a Louisiana cannabis license will be allowed possession of medical marijuana products.

No, Louisiana patients are not permitted to grow their own cannabis in Louisiana. Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Southern University in Hammond is the only licensed cultivators per state law.

Yes.  Here are the steps for an individual patient to obtain a Louisiana medical marijuana card:

  • Find a certified physician. Doctors who can recommend medical marijuana must be certified by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Patients can also choose to go to a medical marijuana clinic specializing in cannabis treatments. 
  • Receive an evaluation by a certified physician. Fort the appointment, you’ll need relevant medical records, a government-issued ID, and documentation establishing your Louisiana residency. The physician will then determine whether medical marijuana is a good fit for your needs.
  • Have your name added to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy registry once the doctor can recommend medical cannabis for your qualifying conditions.
  • You’ll receive a recommendation to take to a state-licensed medical cannabis pharmacy of your choice. There are currently nine licensed medical marijuana pharmacies that are allowed to dispense medical marijuana to registered patients in flower form. There are also medical education resources for those unfamiliar with using medical marijuana.

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

1927: Cannabis prohibition began in Louisiana

2015: Penalties for cannabis possession were reduced; medical marijuana law was passed to legalize medical cannabis for Louisiana residents

2019: Amendments were made to the medical cannabis bill and the state-approved nine medical pharmacies and two licensed growers; those growers are the Louisiana State University agriculture department and the Southern University agricultural center.

2021: Governor John Bel Edwards signed a law to decriminalize minor possessions of cannabis

2022: There are marijuana initiatives that are hopeful to reach the Senate and then ballots so voters can legalize cannabis recreationally; Legislature passed a house bill for legalization, however, the senate has not decided to vote on it yet.

Updated 6.14.2022