A bill to allow medical marijuana patients in Louisiana to access raw cannabis flower cleared a key House committee on Thursday—two days after the full chamber approved complementary legislation on taxing those products if they are legalized.
The House Health and Welfare Committee easily passed the marijuana flower bill in a 12-1 vote.
It would amend the state’s existing medical cannabis law to make it so physicians may recommend raw marijuana products intended for inhalation. Dispensaries could sell up to two and a half ounces of flower cannabis to each patient in a 14-day period.
Patients under 21 would need to have a “written order from a physician specifically recommending marijuana in raw or crude form for that person” to access those products.
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If the legislature ultimately approves the proposal, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Tanner Magee (R), it would become effective on January 1, 2022.
Meanwhile, the full House on Tuesday passed a related bill from Magee that would impose the state’s 4.45 percent sales tax on raw cannabis products. Non-smokeable marijuana items like tinctures and edibles would not be subject to that tax.
The legislation cleared the chamber in a 70-25 vote, signaling that the broader measure is likely to be approved when it heads to the floor. The tax bill is now advancing to the Senate for consideration.
Last year, the legislature significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by passing a bill that allows physicians to recommend cannabis to patients for any debilitating condition that they deem fit instead of from the limited list of maladies that’s used under current law.
Support for medical cannabis is strong among Louisiana voters, but it’s also the case that 67 percent of residents say marijuana should be legal for both therapeutic and recreational purposes, according to a poll released last year.
Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.