It’s been three years since the Louisiana Legislature approved medical marijuana as a treatment option for certain health conditions. The drug is expected to become available to patients this year, and the number of people who could qualify has grown to about 100,000, after the Legislature expanded the program to include medical conditions like chronic pain and PTSD.
A previous rule by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners limited doctors to recommending medical marijuana to just 100 patients each. But the state board voted last week to eliminate that patient cap, out of concern that it would make the drug too difficult to access.
Eligible patients are expected to have access to medical marijuana as soon as November. LSU and Southern University’s agriculture centers are growing the plant and will process the medicine into different forms, like oils, edibles or pills.
Around 30 physicians in Louisiana have been approved to recommend the drug.
On this week's Capitol Access, Dr. Victor Chou, owner of a medical marijuana clinic in Baton Rouge, and Jacob Irving, who qualifies for medical marijuana, discuss why they supported the rule being overturned.