Louisiana Bill To Legalize Smokable Medical Marijuana Heads To Governor’s Desk

The House gave final approval to the medical flower proposal in a 76-17 vote

A Louisiana bill to allow patients to access smokable medical marijuana products is heading to the governor’s desk, while separate legislation to decriminalize low-level possession of recreational cannabis is also pending final action in the legislature.

The House of Representatives gave final approval to the medical flower proposal in a 76-17 vote. The chamber passed an earlier form of the legislation last month, but the Senate amended it, meaning House lawmakers needed to concur in order to get it to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).

It would mark a significant expansion of the state’s current program if signed into law. As it stands, patients are able to vaporize cannabis preparations via a “metered-dose inhaler,” but they cannot access whole-plant flower and smoking is not allowed.

A companion House-passed bill to tax medical cannabis flower is advancing through the Senate. The body approved a floor amendment last week to extend the state’s general sales tax and steer the resulting revenue to infrastructure projects and utilities, but it was recommitted to committee before a final vote on the legislation was held. On Wednesday, the body’s Finance Committee approved an amended version of the bill and returned it to the floor.

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