NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After a long wait, Louisiana patients will be able to pick up medical marijuana orders from licensed pharmacies across the state.
The first shipments of medicinal marijuana products were available at Willow Pharmacy in Madisonville, one of nine dispensaries in Louisiana. Sales started around 11 a.m.
The medical marijuana will be available in a liquid form and come in three different strengths ranging from a $100 to $180 an ounce. Insurance won’t pay for the treatment and for now, all transactions at the nine pharmacies must be are cash only. But, those conditions didn’t seem to bother the dozens that lined up at Willow Pharmacy Tuesday (Aug. 6), to make historic first purchases.
Among those in line was former State Senator Tony Guarisco, who wrote a medical marijuana bill in Louisiana back in 1978.
“I authored the first medical marijuana bill and I’m the oldest living author in the U.S.,” Guarisco said.
He said he hopes to use it for treatment of glaucoma, which he did not when he wrote the bill, but suffers from now.
Still, Dr. Chad Domangue said medical marijuana should be approached with caution, just like any treatment.
“Just like any medicine, you have to look at the patient’s expectations. Are they are really realistic, are they really using it for medication, are they taking other medicines that could interact with it?"
Those seeking medicinal marijuana cannot just walk in and buy the product. Rather, they must have a recommendation from one of the 120 doctors statewide who have been approved to issue them for treatment of the following qualifying conditions:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Seizure disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Severe muscle spasms
- Intractable pain
- Post traumatic disorder
- Some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder