Louisiana Legislature Approves Legislation to Extend Medical Marijuana Program to 2030

Louisiana legislation that would extend the sunset period for Louisiana’s medical marijuana pilot program by five and a half years has been passed by the state’s full legislature.

Louisiana’s House of Representatives gave approval yesterday to Senate Bill 228, filed by Senator Patrick McMath. The measure was approved last month through the state’s Senate by an overwhelming 32 to 5 vote. Given the measure was amended in the House, it will need to go back for one final vote of concurrence in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor Jeff Landry for consideration.

Louisiana’s medical marijuana pilot program was established by lawmakers in 2022. The program allows Louisiana State University and Southern University to legally produce  marijuana for therapeutic use, with the production and distribution of medical marijuana is under the regulatory authority of the Louisiana Department of Health.

Under current law the program expires on January 1, 2025. Senate Bill 228 would extend the sunset period to July 1, 2030.

The measure also “removes the universities as the licensees and transfers the licenses to the two contractors who had contracts with the universities on January 1, 2024”, and it “establishes procedures for the Louisiana Department of Health to renew or revoke the licenses.”

For the full text of Senate Bill 228, click here.

According to polling released last year by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at Louisiana State University, 70% of Louisiana adults support ending the prohibition on possessing “small amounts” of marijuana. This marks an almost 30% increase from the 42% support the move had in 2013.

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