Per Act 491 and Act 492 of the 2022 Regular Legislature, the Louisiana Department of Health has assumed regulatory authority over Louisiana’s medical (therapeutic) marijuana program. LDH personnel are responsible for conducting inspections of medical marijuana production facilities and reviewing finished product test results to verify compliance with the requirements of La. R.S. 40: 1046. While there will be some changes to the way that the program is administered, the department is working with its counterparts at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to ensure a smooth transition.
The fundamental mechanics of the program remain unchanged at this time. There are two licensed medical-marijuana manufacturers in the state of Louisiana–the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center. Each of those two licensees contracts with a third-party firm (“permittee”) to handle the aspects of growth, processing, testing and transportation of the product. Each batch of product is tested for purity and to ensure that it does not exceed the THC-content levels prescribed by the Legislature. Product that has been tested and accepted by the permittee may be transported to one of the (currently) ten licensed pharmacies/dispensaries in the state for distribution to a consumer. Dispensaries may provide medical marijuana in an approved dosage form to any patient with a valid recommendation from a board-certified Louisiana physician.