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The key point when learning how to open a dispensary in Louisiana is that Marijuana is permitted for medical use only, which is regulated by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. Currently, the program is exclusively available to existing pharmacies and not cannabis-related companies. Only licensed pharmacies are authorized to dispense medical marijuana, which is produced by a single cultivator throughout the state.

Louisiana State University and Southern University are tasked with the cultivation of medical marijuana in Louisiana, and no more than 10 pharmacies are authorized to obtain licenses for dispensing cannabis within the state. The two universities have the initial right to work together or separately to grow medical marijuana.

Currently, interested parties will not be able to open a marijuana business in Louisiana. However, in the future, entrepreneurs looking to enter the cannabis dispensary market in Louisiana have a distinctive chance to establish themselves in a rapidly growing industry.

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Louisiana has a limited history with cannabis legalization. In 2015, the state passed a law allowing for the use of medical cannabis, but the law was initially quite limited in its scope and did not provide a legal means of obtaining cannabis.

Since then, the program has expanded somewhat, with the state establishing a regulatory framework for medical cannabis production and distribution and adding more qualifying conditions for patients. However, the program remains relatively restricted compared to some other states, and there have been ongoing concerns about access and affordability for patients.

While there have been some efforts to legalize recreational cannabis in Louisiana, these efforts have so far been unsuccessful. The state remains relatively conservative in its approach to drug policy, and possession of cannabis remains illegal in most circumstances.

Today, the efforts have finally come to fruition as patients in Louisiana can visit a medical marijuana doctor in Baton Rouge or other areas to undergo a medical marijuana evaluation and receive a recommendation. The state now recognizes two approved growers, the Agricultural Centers at Louisiana State University and Southern University, along with nine pharmacy locations where medical marijuana can be dispensed.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.