Louisiana Committee Votes to Protect Unemployment Compensation Benefits for Medical Marijuana Patients

The Louisiana House Labor Committee voted on Thursday to pass a bill to protect employees who are medical marijuana patients from being denied unemployment compensation benefits.

House Bill 351, sponsored by Representative Mandie Landry, was passed by the committee today in a close 6 to 5 vote. According to its official summary the proposed law “provides that a qualifying medical marijuana patient who receives a recommendation from an authorized clinician to use marijuana for a therapeutic use shall not be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits.”

“The Louisiana resident buys the product, then the consumer loses their job and no longer has the money to buy the product that the state says was legal”, says Representative Landry. “We have a very strange circle here with the government not being very good at selling marijuana”.

The bill was amended to remove a provision providing protection for worker’s compensation claims, a move requested by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

In 2022 Representative Landry sponsored a measure to protect state employees from being fired and would protect prospective employees from being discriminated against for using medical marijuana. The same year she also helped to establish a task force designed to study medical marijuana use and provide recommendations for how to protect workers.

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