By Benjie Cooper
YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog
Louisiana became the 25th state in the U.S. to establish a medical marijuana system when Governor John Bel Edwards signed SB271 into law on May 19, 2016
Also in 2016, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners set the maximum number of patients that a physician could recommend medicinal cannabis to at 100, and limited how many patients they could treat as well.
But during a meeting on Monday, September 17 in New Orleans, the board voted to remove the cap, freeing doctors to recommend marijuana to more patients who meet the state’s cannabis program requirements.
The board voted in May to increase the number of qualifying conditions to sixteen, adding Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, glaucoma, intractable pain, and muscle spasms to the list.
During Monday’s meeting, Dr. Victor Chou told the board that he had met his patient cap within two weeks of opening his clinic and had a waiting list of 700 patients. Chou was one of the first physicians in the state to receive a license to recommend medicinal cannabis.
In a 5-4 vote, the board also decided to remove the 90-day follow-up required for patient renewal.
There are currently forty-seven licensed doctors in Louisiana which, before the cap removal, would have limited the number of patients with medicinal cannabis access in the state to 4,700. With the patient cap removed, an estimated 100,000 patients are expected to enroll in the program.