Antrell Williams

Louisiana Legislature Approves MMJ ‘Inhalation’ Bill

Lawmakers in Louisiana have approved a bill that allows the “inhalation” of cannabis via an inhaler-like apparatus; smoking, however, would remain illegal under the state medical cannabis program.

Full story after the jump.

The Louisiana House has unanimously approved a measure that allows “inhalation” under the state’s medical cannabis program but still prohibits smoking, the LSU Manship News Service reports. The law allows patients to inhale medical cannabis through an apparatus similar to an asthma inhaler.

The measure, which moves next to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, also includes provisions allowing out-of-state physicians to recommend medical cannabis treatments.

According to an Associated Press report, the Senate had shelved the measure on June 1; however, after Republican Sen. Fred Marks amended the legislation to include “metered dose inhalers,” specifically, the measure was approved by the chamber.

Despite the legislative efforts to expand the program, patients in the state are still without access to medical cannabis products four years after the bill initially passed the legislature due to an ongoing feud between Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and the LSU AgCenter over cultivation methods. According to the report, medical cannabis products are expected later this year.

On May 7 the House Health Committee voted 6-4 to move oversight of the medical cannabis program from the Agriculture and Forestry Department to the Health Department, according to an AP report. Only LSU and Southern University are allowed to grow the crops in partnership with private firms.

The current law only allows edibles, oils, and extracts and for in-state physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients. The state’s qualifying condition list allows for “debilitating medical conditions,” including cancer, epilepsy, intractable pain, HIV, and Parkinson’s disease.

Additionally, the House passed hemp-legalization legislation – which includes language allowing CBD products in the state.

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