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State Regulations

The Legal Status of Cannabis in Louisiana

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In the state of Louisiana, cannabis is legal for medicinal use only. Possessing small amounts of recreational marijuana is decriminalized (14 grams or less) and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $100. A physician's written recommendation is required for the medical use for any debilitating condition.

Before the whole state decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, the following cities had already done so on their own:

  • New Orleans
  • Baton Rouge
  • Shreveport

Cannabis was first prohibited in the state of Louisiana between 1924 and 1927. Despite this prohibition, newspaper accounts cite New Orleans as having contemporaneous marijuana use with the whole state only recording 30 convictions in the year of 1930.

SB 143 was signed by Governor Bobby Jindal son June 30, 2015 which significantly reduced the penalties for possessing cannabis. Under this bill:

  • First possession offense is punishable by 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.
  • Second offense six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Third offense up to 2 years jail time and a $2,500 fine
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses 8 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine

HB 652 was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards on June 15, 2021 decriminalizing possession of “small amounts of marijuana” statewide. Under this bill:

Possessing less than 14 grams of marijuana for the first and every other subsequent offense has no threat of jail time and is only punishable by a fine of $100.

These reduced penalties took effect from August 1, 2021. It is important to note that possessing more than 14 grams as well as illegal distribution still carries harsh penalties and you could be arrested if found driving under the influence of marijuana.

The legality of medical cannabis in Louisiana

HB 391 was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards on June 22, 2021 lifting the prohibition on smokable and raw/crude cannabis products which went to effect on January 1, 2022. Possessing cannabis flower of up to 2.5oz will be legalized for medicinal purposes.

Some states in Louisiana allow the sale of marijuana products provided the THC level remains below a specified threshold though the state stipulates that any products with THC to contain it at the lowest levels possible. It is illegal to grow Cannabis plants for both recreational and medicinal purposes in Louisiana.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.