Medical marijuana pharmacies across Louisiana may deliver medication to patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy issued the guidance in mid-March after pharmacists at medical marijuana locations reached out for help even before there were a public health emergency. There are only nine licensed pharmacies which can sell medical marijuana and at this time tinctures are the only method sold.
The board had expected to review the rule against medical marijuana delivery at its meeting in March but that meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“A pharmacy may, using their own staff and not any third party, deliver marijuana products they have dispensed to the patient,” according to the board. “This authority covers delivery to the patient wherever that patient is located, at home, in a hospital or any other location.”
A doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana in Louisiana lasts for 90 days.
Between August and December there were only 4,350 patients in the fledgling medical marijuana program. Patients were given 9,651 medical marijuana “recommendations” from fewer than 200 doctors across the state. The term recommendations is used in Louisiana rather than prescriptions to protect doctors’ medical licenses, since marijuana is illegal in the country.
Under state laws the drug is available only to people with these conditions: intractable pain, cancer, AIDS, Cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, PTSD, Parkinson’s and certain people with autism spectrum disorder.