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Louisiana Senate Decides to Expand List of Conditions Qualifying for Medical Cannabis




With a new medical cannabis program starting in summer, the Louisiana state Senate passed two measures on May 9 that qualify certain medical conditions to be treated with medical cannabis.

The Louisiana Senate recently passed two separate measures that added to the list of medical conditions qualifying for medical cannabis. The vote comes just in time as a new medical cannabis program is set to begin by the end of the summer.

One of the measures passed, House Bill 579, adds glaucoma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Parkinson’s disease and intense muscle spasms to the catalog of approved conditions for cannabis treatment. Rep.Ted James and Rep. Kenny Cox introduced the bill to the House of Representatives during March where it then was passed along to the Senate. In a 25-9 vote the Senate approved the measure.

The Senate also approved a second measure titled House Bill 627 in a 21-10 vote. Introduced by Rep. Rodney Lyons, the bill proposes including the autism spectrum in the list of conditions eligible to treatable with cannabis.

On May 16 both bills returned to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote Wednesday night. With approval from the House and Senate, both bills will soon head to the Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk for a final decision. While there is no word on how the governor will decide, the decision will be made before medical cannabis legally hits the market. The agriculture centers at Louisiana State University and Southern University are the only two approved locations for cannabis cultivation under the state’s new program.

Both moves by the government are great steps in the direction towards progression in the medical field and the wider perception of cannabis as a legitimate method of treatment. If signed by Gov. Edwards, Louisiana residents will have more options to assist in living a happier and healthier life.