Medical marijuana bill passes La. House
BATON ROUGE - A bill which would create a dispensary system for medical marijuana in Louisiana passed the state House Thursday afternoon, potentially clearing its way to the governor's desk for signature.
Senate Bill 143 from Sen. Fred Mills passed 70-29 with amendments in the House. It now goes back to the Senate to consider the amendments, and Governor Bobby Jindal has said he would sign the legislation if it reached him.
The state already has laws on the books legalizing the use of medical marijuana, but does not have laws for how it could be dispensed to patients. SB 143 would give three state boards the authority to set up and regulate medical marijuana growth and dispensation in Louisiana.
The bill gives authorization for one growing site in the state, managed by the Department of Agriculture, and ten dispensaries under the auspices of the Board of Pharmacies. The state Board of Medical Examiners would set rules for how it could be prescribed, but because medical marijuana is not approved by the FDA some insurance companies will not cover it.