By Melinda DeSlatte, Associated Press
(AP) — More Louisiana residents will have access to medical marijuana under a significant expansion of the state’s therapeutic cannabis program that was signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The changes in the law, which take effect in August, allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any patient they believe it would help, and remove restrictions on which doctors can recommend cannabis.
Edwards announced Monday evening that he had signed the bill into law.
Under a 2015 law and additional changes passed since then, Louisiana allowed cannabis to treat a long list of diseases and disorders including cancer, seizure disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
The new legislation expands that to include any condition that a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”
In addition, the new law will no longer require doctors to register with and receive authorization from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to recommend cannabis for patients.