is weed legal in louisiana

Is Weed Legal In Louisiana: Full Guide

Table of Contents

Louisiana, also known as the Pelican State, is a culturally rich state located in the southern region of the United States. It’s famous for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and natural attractions like bayous and swamps. Visitors can enjoy delicious spicy foods and live jazz music in the French Quarter. Louisiana is a great place to visit for a unique and unforgettable experience. Yet – if you plan to make a trip, you better study up on the weed laws before you light up.

Is Weed Legal in Louisiana? Straight to the point.

  • Recreational THC: No
  • Medical THC: Yes
  • CBD: Yes
  • Delta-8: Yes

Medical Weed Laws

Louisiana legalized medical marijuana in 2015. Patients with qualifying conditions may obtain a medical marijuana card with a physician’s recommendation. The minimum age for obtaining a medical card is 18, but minors may qualify if they have a parent or guardian’s consent. 

The following are the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Louisiana:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable pain (defined as “pain so chronic or severe as to otherwise warrant an opiate prescription”)
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizure disorders/spasticity
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Any other condition not otherwise specified that a physician, in their medical opinion, considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through their medical education and training to treat. This has been effective since August 1, 2020.

Patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks.

Recreational Weed Laws

Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.

Is Weed Decriminalized in Louisiana?

Louisiana has reduced penalties for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis, saving thousands of residents from being incarcerated for small amounts. The new law enforces possession with a summons and a fine of up to $100, with alternatives like community service or installment payments for those unable to pay. 

However, penalties for possession over 14 grams or possession with intent to distribute or sales of any amount remain harsh. Louisiana has been known as the incarceration capital of the US, but recent legislative efforts have worked towards humane cannabis policies, including advocacy from organizations such as Louisiana Progress, CommonSense NOLA, and Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana.

Cannabinoid Variants

In recent years, the market for cannabinoids has expanded beyond CBD and Delta-9 THC, with the emergence of alternative hemp-derived compounds such as Delta-8 and Delta-10. However, legal questions have arisen as new variants like THC-O and HHC-O have entered the scene. This section explores the legality of various cannabinoid variants in Louisiana, including CBD, Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HCC, and HHC-O. We’ll take a closer look at Louisiana state law and federal regulations to determine what is permitted and what is not.

Is CBD legal in Louisiana?

The enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill marked a turning point for industrial hemp production in the United States, opening the door for the widespread availability of CBD-rich hemp products. Consumers can now find CBD-infused items in various forms, including supplements, topicals, edibles, vape pens, and beauty products. While the Farm Bill provides legal protection for CBD production, specific requirements must be met. Commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

It’s worth noting that individual states, such as Louisiana, may have their own regulations on CBD use and distribution. In Louisiana, cannabis-derived CBD oil is legal but requires a medical cannabis license for certain medical conditions.

Is Delta-8 legal in Louisiana?

Delta-8 is legal in Louisiana as long as it doesn’t exceed 0.3% Delta-9 THC in the finished product. House Bill 491, which was passed in 2019, legalized the possession, sale, purchase, distribution, and production of hemp in Louisiana.

Is Delta-10 legal in Louisiana? 

Louisiana allows the use of Delta-10 THC, which is also federally legal in the United States. The state has legalized all hemp products containing a permissible level of Delta 9-THC in accordance with federal law. These laws are similar to the ones that permitted CBD in the state.

Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Louisiana? 

In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers. 

For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Louisiana?

Louisiana allows the usage of HHC and HHC-O as they comply with federal law, which legalizes all hemp-derived products that meet the acceptable Delta 9-THC level.

Cultivation Laws

Louisiana does not allow the personal cultivation of marijuana, even for medical use. Licensed medical marijuana growers may cultivate up to 7,500 plants, but home cultivation is not permitted.

To obtain a license as a medical marijuana grower in Louisiana, you must fulfill certain requirements, such as:

  • Be at least 25 years old
  • A legal resident of the state, and able to prove it. 
  • If applying as an entity, 75 percent of the ownership/membership should be comprised of Louisiana residents. 
  • You must also be registered to conduct business in Louisiana
  • Complete the Grower License Application
  • Pay the $500 License Fee
  • Successfully pass a background check and other legal verifications.

It is important to note that the deadline for application submission may vary depending on the year of filing.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana

To obtain a medical marijuana card in Louisiana, patients must:

  • Have a qualifying medical condition
  • Obtain a physician’s recommendation
  • Register with the Louisiana Department of Health with your physician
  • Pay the registration fee

A card will be sent via mail and must be renewed annually.

Where to Buy Weed in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the states that has legalized medical marijuana use, but where can one legally buy weed? While the purchase and use of recreational marijuana remain illegal, medical marijuana cardholders have a few avenues available for obtaining their prescription. 


Medical marijuana is only available at the nine licensed dispensaries in Louisiana. Dispensaries may offer in-person purchases, delivery, or both. 


While recreational marijuana purchase and consumption remain illegal in Louisiana, medical marijuana cardholders are allowed to have their prescription delivered by licensed dispensaries if delivery services are offered. The patient must show their medical card to place and receive a delivery. 

Direct to Consumer

Although some online companies may sell legal alt noids such as Delta-8, Delta-10, and HHC, direct-to-consumer purchase of cannabis is not currently available in Louisiana. Only medical marijuana cardholders are permitted to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries in the state. It is important to note that since THC products are not legal in Louisiana, online companies may not be able to ship the legal products to your state.

Black Market

Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.

Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Louisiana

There have been several efforts to legalize recreational weed in Louisiana, but none have been successful. In 2019, a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would have allowed for the recreational use and sale of marijuana, but it failed to gain enough support to pass. In 2021, another bill was introduced that would have legalized recreational marijuana, but the sponsor withdrew it before it could be voted on.

Despite these setbacks, there is still some momentum for legalization in Louisiana. Public opinion polls have shown increasing support for legalizing marijuana, and neighboring states such as Mississippi and Texas have recently passed laws allowing for medical marijuana use. Additionally, advocates for legalization argue that it could be a significant source of revenue for the state, which has been struggling with budget deficits in recent years. However, it remains to be seen when or if Louisiana will ultimately legalize recreational marijuana.

General FAQ

Where can you smoke weed in Louisiana?

Smoking weed is illegal in public places in Louisiana, including parks, sidewalks, streets, and other public areas. It is also illegal to smoke marijuana in a vehicle, whether you are a driver or a passenger. Additionally, smoking weed is not allowed in any location where smoking is prohibited by law, such as restaurants, bars, and other indoor public places.

If you are a medical marijuana patient, you may be able to consume cannabis in private residences with the property owner’s permission. However, it is essential to note that smoking may still violate lease agreements and other housing rules.

Can you smoke weed in public in Louisiana?

No, it is illegal to smoke weed in public places in Louisiana. Consumption of cannabis is only allowed in private residences, and property owners have the right to prohibit smoking on their premises. Smoking in public can result in fines or even arrest.

When was medical weed legalized in Louisiana?

Medical marijuana was legalized in Louisiana on May 19, 2016, when Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law the Alison Neustrom Act (Senate Bill 271). The law established the framework for the production, distribution, and use of medical marijuana in the state. However, it took several years for the program to be fully implemented and for medical marijuana to become available to patients.

Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed in Louisiana? Possession of 14 grams or less carries a misdemeanor charge with a maximum fine of $100 and no possibility of jail time. 

Possession of more than 14 grams carries increasing penalties based on offenses ranging from 6 months to 8 years of incarceration and fines up to $5,000. First and second offenders may be eligible for probation. Distribution or cultivation of marijuana is punished more severely, with mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses. 

Offenses range from 1 to 20 years of incarceration and fines up to $50,000, depending on the distribution target. Providing marijuana to minors carries harsher penalties, with up to 30 years of incarceration for certain offenses.

What is the penalty for selling to a minor?

The penalty for selling weed to a minor in Louisiana varies depending on the age difference between the seller and the minor. If the seller is over 25 years old and sells to a minor, the penalty is 10 to 30 years of incarceration. If the seller is at least three years older than the minor but not over 25 years old, the penalty is 5 to 30 years of incarceration. It’s important to note that these penalties apply to both distribution and possession with intent to distribute.

What is possession with the intent to sell?

Possession with the intent to sell, also known as possession with the intent to distribute, is a criminal offense involving possessing illegal drugs to sell, distribute, or deliver them to others. In Louisiana, possession of any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. The penalties depend on the amount of marijuana involved and other factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history and the location of the offense.

When is possession a crime?

Possession is a crime if you possess more than the allotted legal limit or if you are suspected of intent to distribute.

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