Governor Edwards has signed House Bill 391 legalizing the usage of smokable medical marijuana for certain patients. Houma Representative Tanner Magee, who sponsored the bill, said its purpose is to drive down costs and present a much-requested product for patients.
“Having the raw form of it, which the public has shown they really want, will allow them to drive down their costs so they can pass on to the consumer and have a real alternative to opioids,” Magee said.
Patients will likely be able to purchase the product sometime in January due to the small number of manufacturers. The bill received remarkably little pushback during the legislative session which Magee attributes to a shift in public opinion.
“The public has seen, you know, that medical marijuana is something not to be afraid of and that it actually does have a lot of uses,” Magee said.
Currently, only LSU and Southern University produce medical marijuana for the state. Moving forward, Magee says most of the push will be to expand its availability in the state.
“The push, that even started this session, was to start having more manufactures allowing more people to grow it outside of the Southern and LSU universities and then I think the next push is to have more pharmacies,” Magee said.