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March 15, 2024 20 Comments

What’s Stopping You From Joining the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program?

Recently, The Healing Clinics conducted a straw poll that asked the question, “What’s stopping you from joining the medical marijuana program in Louisiana?” The number one response was product cost followed by worries about how it might affect employment status. In this article, we’ll explore both concerns and offer reasons and possible solutions.

There are 50,422 patients 

currently in the Louisiana medical marijuana program

The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy released patient numbers for the Louisiana medical marijuana program as of the Q4 2023. This is out of a total population of 4.6 million Louisiana residents.

Why the Poll was Conducted

When the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy released patient numbers for the Louisiana medical marijuana program as of the fourth quarter of 2023, the numbers were comparatively low at 50,422 patients currently in the program. This is out of a total population of 4.6 million Louisiana residents.

By comparison, Arkansas has a total of 95,626 medical marijuana patients out of a total population of 3 million people and their legalization wasn’t until May 2019, a year after medical marijuana was legalized in Louisiana. 

So, we wondered, what is holding people back from joining the program and what can we do to help? It didn’t take us long to get our answer.

How Responses Were Collected

We posted the poll to The Healing Clinics social media profiles and staff members also collected data from communication with potential patients since our opening in 2018. All this information was compiled and used to find the most common reasons cited as to why they decided not to participate.

Medical Marijuana Product Cost

In their last session, Louisiana legislators considered how they could help to reduce the costs of products on the retail level but no resolution has yet been found. The state legislators had hopes that by making marijuana flower legal that prices would be reduced but that has not always been the case. Currently, there is no price regulation on products for Louisiana’s medical marijuana market.

Why Do Products in Louisiana Cost More?

That’s a great question. We are hopeful that the Louisiana legislature will address that in the regular session that started on May 11th. What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments at the end of this article.

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

This excludes illegally trafficked marijuana and focuses only on medical marijuana in Louisiana. For state employees, laws were passed that protect them from reprimand or release from employment based on drug tests that reveal the presence of marijuana. The Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force, created through a study resolution authored by Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, continues to look at state laws to draft proposals for the Louisiana Legislature to consider.

House Bill 988, sponsored by Rep. Landry, protects state employees from negative consequences if they are diagnosed with conditions for which a doctor recommends medical marijuana used in accordance with state law.

Quoting directly from the text of the bill “No state employer shall subject an employee or prospective employee to negative employment consequences based solely on a positive drug test for marijuana, marijuana components, including tetrahydrocannabinol, or marijuana metabolites if the employee or prospective employee has been clinically diagnosed as suffering from a debilitating medical condition and a licensed physician has recommended marijuana for therapeutic use by the employee in accordance with 15 R.S. 40:1046” This bill was passed into law in 2022.

For private sector employees, it gets a bit more complicated. How much control should the state government have over how private companies conduct their business? Even so, 25 of the 37 states where medical marijuana is legal have protections for private sector employees in place. The task force was able to come to agreement on verbiage in the bills and submitted those for consideration in the May 2023 legislative session. HB351 which addresses protections for private employees who are enrolled in the medical marijuana program, is scheduled to be returned to the calendar on May 24, 2024.

Encourage your legislators to vote for passage of the employment protection for private sector employees. Click here to find out how to contact your state legislator.

Change is Constant

The medical marijuana industry in Louisiana and across the country is constantly changing. Product pricing, laws, and taxes among other variables are all changing in efforts to improve the industry and the program overall for patients and all involved. If you haven’t checked out the medical marijuana program in Louisiana lately, we encourage you to give it another try.

How We Can Help

The Healing Clinics offers special pricing, installment payments, various time frames (three, six, and 12 months of recommendations), and discounts for veterans and their spouses and hospice patients to help make costs for your evaluation better fit your budget. Click the button below to start your healing journey with The Healing Clinics. Let’s get legal Louisiana!

Please share!



Stephanie Godwin
March 15, 2024

I am in the program and have been been for 2 years, unfortunately my husband, who would benefit as a 20+ yr Navy veteran, cannot join because of the product cost! When we travel it is significantly cheaper to purchase product in places like Colorado VS Louisiana. Something definitely needs to be done to make this life saving product cost efficient for people on fixed incomes

Wanda Warden
March 15, 2024

I was also in the program when it first began, but have not reinstated my card because I am on disability and cannot afford to buy the products sadly because it helped me greatly

Gavin Tullier
March 15, 2024

Drop all prices! I’m a current disability patient and I can only afford to get my renewal, then wait a month to get 3 VERY EXPENSIVE,VERY SMALL pouches,jars or edibles. After that I might be able to afford to get it 2 or 3 more times a year. So I’m paying $150 for a total of 4 maybe 5 pickups of 10 grams. I’m allowed 5 ounces per month, I would like to see it to where I could at least afford 1 or 2 of those ounces. Or try to pass a bill to where each patient can have 2 to 3 auto flower plants of their choice. People like me on SSI that really need it can’t afford it. Workers can’t smoke at all unless in secret or working a miserable job. Louisiana laws need to change and be a lot more like Colorado to where people can manage. Prices are entirely out of range for us. Enrollment is radically priced and make people question it. Especially when (no offense to them in anyway) but only Vets and Seniors get $99 for March , that tells me that you could charge the entire state $99 for the entire year and still come out way on top. Lower prices or fight for us to farm our own 2 or 3 plants. That is all you can do to make this a better situation.

March 15, 2024

I was in the program for one year. I can no longer continue because the cost is so high. Im now back on my medication which I really don’t want to take but have no choice

March 15, 2024

It all comes down to cost n convenience.i the The Healing Clinic in Shreveport is excellent. I was approved before the first products were released but the prices have made it almost impossible for people to n SSI or SS. I don’t understand why if it’s a better alternative to opioids (I know its better from experience) that something isn’t being done to help those of us who can’t afford it to get some sort of discount or help.
Then there’s the travel to n from the dispensary to pick up your meds. I have to drive a 110 miles round trip. It’s time to open the market up more n issue more licenses for dispensaries. There shouldn’t be a monopoly on the part of the business that really when you think about it make good money off the product. Then there’s only two grows in the state which further adds to the problem of cost.
When I started it did cost a lot more n even with The Healing Clinic giving discounts on recommendations n prices dropping I still can only afford to go a few times a year.
All this being said, I hope the industry and our elected officials can figure something out.
I have not been to pain management in over 3yrs but as I get older n arthritis is getting worse I’ve been thinking very seriously about going back to pain management. I know opioids aren’t good for anyone but my Medicare will help pay most of it.
It’s difficult to justify the cost of being in the program when you’re struggling on a fixed income to pay bills n buy food.
My 2 cents worth!

Kenneth H
March 15, 2024

As others have stated here, I joined the program when it first began. I went to a dispensary once and was astonished at the extremely high prices. I never retired, even though I suffer from debilitating medical conditions and chronic pain. I know others that find it cheaper to travel to Arkansas, pay their out of state residence fee ($50) and buy their products there. Price is the problem!!!

Disgusted by Pricing at Pharmacies
March 15, 2024

When it costs $50+ at the pharmacy for a mere 3.5 GRAMS, which lasts 2 days…. no one can afford to stay healthy with MMJ alone. So sad.

March 15, 2024

It is still cheaper for me to get medical elsewhere (other states) been doing it for years before Louisiana became legal. I am, also on disability and just can’t afford it (as most TRUE medical needs users). It’s cheaper to get a 3 month supply plus transport and seeing a real doctor in California than 1 month in Louisiana. So sad.

Rosemary S Smith
March 15, 2024

My son was in program and had to go back to pain meds cost too high could not afford even with the so call discount… Sad, this program really helped him alot. Made a big difference in his life being totally disabled, bedbound. We need HELP with cost of product too too high!

March 15, 2024

Need a one-word answer to why prices are so high in Louisiana? GREED!
Most new goods and services take a while to morph into a racket-this was rolled out as one.

William Turnage
March 15, 2024

Cost is too high

March 15, 2024

I was in the program for two years and would love to still be because I have cancer and various other ailments. The THC content is way too high for me. The lowest strain I could ever find was around 12%. If I had access to something lower I would definitely join again. Any feedback on this problem would be greatly appreciated and helpful. I’d love to know if alternative strains are available anywhere

March 15, 2024

CO$T .

Jose More
March 15, 2024

We are members but yes Louisiana is 3 times the prices I get in Texarkana Arkansas. I live in LA. But it’s worth the drive 60 miles and I get 3 to 4 times the product for the same prices here in Shreveport La.

Kevin Pepper
March 15, 2024

The reason the product cost so much is because they will not expand competition. They have only two growers and only a handful of dispensaries across the state and they refuse to open up competition and licenses to more growers and pharmacies. They are protecting their friends and buddies so they can be millionaires and have a monopoly. Just dirty Louisiana politics Good old boy network as usual. Leave it to Louisiana to where they could have copied anybody’s successful program across the nation and they act like they’re having to reinvent the wheel and do everything for the first time ever. It’s ridiculous they just need to get out of the way and let the market work and the prices will drop. Government is the problem.

Kevin Pepper
March 15, 2024

P. S…. If you live close to Arkansas pay for a Arkansas visitor’s pass every 3 months $50 and travel to get your stuff it’s worth the trip.

Robert James Lee
March 15, 2024

I feel as though thc should be taken off of the drug testing list altogether. This will eliminate the fear of consequences of testing positive on a drug screen. I bet more people will join the program if this is done.

March 15, 2024

You are 100 percent correct.

Woodrow Kerluke
March 15, 2024

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Loma Eichmann
March 15, 2024

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