In a 73 to 26 vote, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill that will allow “smokable” medical cannabis, according to The Advocate. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee (R), will allow patients to purchase up to 72 grams of “smokable” product at a time. Currently, Louisiana patients can only purchase non-smokable forms of cannabis like tinctures or gummies.
Speaker Magee, who also introduced legislation to tax medical cannabis and spend the money on transportation projects, cited lower prices for patients and pointed out that surrounding states like Arkansas and Mississippi allow for “raw” cannabis flower as reasons to pass the bill.
“Your constituents are going to get this. It depends on if they’re making a drive to Mississippi and bringing it back to Louisiana or making a drive to Arkansas and bringing it back to Louisiana.” — Speaker Magee via The Advocate
Expected to bring in $1.7 million the first year, the state forecasts the changes will bring in an additional $12 million by 2026, according to the report.
Although the bill is expected to face an uphill battle in the Louisiana Senate, that did not slow down the House — where there is also a bill sponsored by Rep. Richard Nelson (R) to legalize adult-use cannabis — from taking up the reforms.
According to The Advocate, an LSU Public Policy Research Lab poll in 2019 found 55% of Louisianans supported legalizing small amounts of cannabis for adult use. This year, polls conducted by medical cannabis groups found 65% of Louisianans support adult-use reforms.
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