We occasionally recommend products we love and might be paid a share of the sale.
The status of weed is changing all over the United States.
Unfortunately, the status changes that happen in each state are different and it can be easy to get caught out if you don’t keep up to date with the changing legislation.
If you live in New Orleans or are going to be visiting, you are likely to encounter cannabis on the street or in the parks of the city.
This can make you wonder what the current laws are regarding cannabis and its use.
In this guide, we will look at whether weed is legal in New Orleans and where it can be used.
Is Weed Illegal In Louisiana?
Because New Orleans is just a city, the laws that govern it come from the state of Louisiana.
Therefore, these are the laws that we need to look at to know whether or not weed is legal in the city. The current answer to this question is, no.
In fact, many people believe that weed won’t be legal in the state any time soon despite advances in other parts of the country.
Despite not being legal in New Orleans, weed has been decriminalized. This means that you can carry a small amount of weed for personal use (no more than 14 grams) without risking jail time.
If you are found with less than 14 grams of bud on your person, you will be given a $100 fine and sent on your way. This applies to the first and all subsequent offenses.
It is also possible to get prescriptions for medical marijuana in New Orleans.
How Can You Get Weed In New Orleans?
Because weed isn’t fully legal in New Orleans, it means that you cannot purchase it from a dispensary like you can in states that have legalized it.
The only legal way to obtain marijuana in New Orleans is through a medical marijuana card.
Louisiana was actually one of the first Deep South states to legalize a minimal amount of medical marijuana in 2016.
Restrictions on the types and forms of marijuana that are available with a prescription in Louisiana were loosened in 2022.
How Do You Get A Prescription For Medical Marijuana?
If you live in New Orleans or are going to be visiting for an extended period of time, you might be wondering whether it is worth getting a medical marijuana prescription in order to be able to access weed in the city.
This is something that can only be done if you qualify for medical marijuana.
Unlike many states, Louisiana doesn’t give out a medical marijuana card. Instead, eligible patients are added to a statewide registry for medical cannabis patients.
In order to be on this registry, a Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners certified doctor has to evaluate you.
These doctors will only recommend medical cannabis once they have checked your medical records and have established that you are a Louisiana resident.
If you meet the criteria, your name will be added to the registry. You will be given a recommendation that you can take to pharmacies in the state that are licensed to dispense medical cannabis.
What Are Approved Conditions?
Prior to 2020, there were strict physical and psychological conditions that medical marijuana could be prescribed for. Anything outside of the expressly stated conditions would not qualify for a prescription.
However, in 2020, Act 286 was passed. This act states that any physician who has been granted license by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to prescribe medical cannabis can do so.
Any patient who is suffering from a debilitating psychological or physical medical condition can be prescribed medical marijuana.
Can An Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Card Be Used In Louisiana?
As we mentioned above, Louisiana doesn’t use medical marijuana cards. Instead, they use a registry that can be checked when people bring recommendations to registered pharmacies.
This means that out-of-state medical marijuana cards cannot be used in New Orleans. Although medical cannabis is legal in the city, none of the pharmacies have the ability to verify your medical marijuana card from another state.
Therefore, they will not be able to provide you with cannabis.
Where Can Medical Cannabis Be Used In New Orleans?
If you are able to obtain medical cannabis in New Orleans, you might be wondering where you can legally smoke it to avoid getting in trouble.
The safest place to smoke cannabis in New Orleans is in the comfort of your own home.
Public consumption of cannabis isn’t specifically referenced in Louisiana’s legislation about controlled substances.
Although that sounds like a helpful loophole, there are still penalties for the possession and distribution of cannabis throughout the state which can be costly.
If you are a registered medical marijuana patient in the state, you are protected from any form of prosecution for the possession and distribution of cannabis.
However, it is important to note that you must have an approved form of cannabis on you for this protection to apply.
What Does The Future Hold For Cannabis In Louisiana?
Despite Louisiana’s reluctance to treat medical and non-medical cannabis the same way as over half of the states in the country, there is still hope for the future.
Realistically, there is no reason why Louisiana should not eventually make cannabis fully legal in the state.
Hospitality and entertainment businesses are already making basic plans for the types of establishments that they would like to open when weed becomes fully legal.
There are many places that would become lounges purely for cannabis consumption in the event that cannabis is made legal.
Although cannabis hasn’t been fully legalized in Louisiana as of yet, all the signs point to full legalization in the near future. For now, the only way to legally consume cannabis in New Orleans is to be on the medical cannabis patient registry.
Learn more about Midwest weed laws and legal status of cannabis in neighboring states.
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.