Get the Facts about Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana

  • Act 261 was passed in 2015 which allows physicians to prescribe (recommend) Medical Marijuana.
  • The Legislature named the agriculture centers at Louisiana State University and Southern University as the only legal growers of marijuana plants, from which medicines will be extracted.
  • LSU has entered into a Medical Marijuana contract with a Las Vegas company to grow marijuana for medical purposes in Louisiana.
  • No LSU students will be employed at the indoor growing facility and it will not be on LSU property or adjacent to the LSU campuses.
  • Southern University has selected Advanced Biomedics, a Lafayette-based company for medical marijuana cultivation and production.
  • Medical Marijuana will not be available until 2018.
  • Only a limited number of specially-licensed pharmacies will distribute Medical Marijuana
  • The independent board of Medical Examiners and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy have created a list of debilitating conditions that will be eligible for treatment with Medical Marijuana. These conditions include cancer, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. 

What is medical marijuana?

  • The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine.
  • Medical Marijuana does not include the inhalation or vaping of cannabis. 

Why isn’t the marijuana plant an FDA-approved medicine?

  • The FDA requires carefully conducted studies (clinical trials) in hundreds to thousands of human subjects to determine the benefits and risks of a possible medication.
  • So far, researchers have not conducted enough large-scale clinical trials that show that the benefits of the marijuana plant (as opposed to its cannabinoid ingredients) outweigh its risks in patients it's meant to treat.



Provided by Louisiana Department of Health/Office of Behavioral Health/Prevention Division 9/2017