Medical cannabis patients in Louisiana can now access smokable flower after a new law went into effect Jan. 1, according to a local WAFB report.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 391 into law in June to lift the state’s smoking ban.
Under the new law, physicians can recommend medical cannabis to patients in the form of flower, and dispensaries can sell up to two and a half ounces of flower every 14 days to patients 21 and older.
The Daily Advertiser reported that patients flocked to the state’s nine licensed dispensaries Jan. 3 to purchase smokable cannabis for the first time, although some were dismayed at the cost of the products.
Delta MedMar, a dispensary in West Monroe, has its flower priced between $440 and $480 an ounce, according to the news outlet, while one-eighth of an ounce ranges from $35 in Lake Charles to $80 in New Orleans.
“When there are more patients and more products, prices are going to be more affordable,” Greg Morrison, one of Delta MedMar’s owners, told the Daily Advertiser.
LSU AgCenter, Southern AgCenter and their private partners are the only entities authorized to cultivate and manufacture medical cannabis products in Louisiana, the Daily Advertiser reported. John Davis, president of Good Day Farm, LSU AgCenter’s private partner and grower, told the news outlet that Louisiana’s cultivators “are very focused on making sure the wholesale pricing is consistent with other states even though we aren't yet a mature market.”
Rep. Tanner Magee, who sponsored the bill to expand Louisiana’s medical cannabis program, told the news outlet that while he is concerned about the early reports of the high cost of flower in the state, he plans to keep an eye on the situation and make legislative tweaks to the medical cannabis program as needed.
“One of the primary reasons to expand the options in the program was to make the medicine more affordable and accessible,” he said.