House agrees to expand Louisiana’s medical marijuana program

Louisiana News

FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, file photo file photo, marijuana plants grow under special grow lights in Baton Rouge, La. A House Republican leader’s bid to expand Louisiana’s medical marijuana program and allow smokable cannabis started to gain traction Thursday, April 15, 2021, as lawmakers advanced a bill that would tax the new therapeutic products. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has backed a proposal to let patients in the state’s medical marijuana program smoke raw cannabis, rather than rely on the more processed forms of marijuana currently available.

A 73-26 vote Monday sent the bill to the Senate for debate. The expansion proposal is sponsored by Rep. Tanner Magee, the House’s second-ranking Republican.

Louisiana’s dispensaries sell medical marijuana in liquids, topical applications, inhalers and edible gummies.

But they are barred from offering raw marijuana in smokable form. Magee’s bill would legalize that as well for medicinal purposes, starting in January.

The raw, smokable marijuana plant is cheaper to manufacture and sell because it involves less processing.

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