A new service is available to Louisiana residents who are interested in using medical marijuana to help alleviate discomfort associated with multiple health issues.
Back in August, Louisiana’s medical marijuana law was expanded to give doctors more latitude to recommend it for patients. It can now be legally used for a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.
Recently, Louisiana Marijuana Card was established to help connect patients with doctors who are willing and able to prescribe medical marijuana. The same organization already operates similar services in other states, including Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Taylor Wilson, a spokeswoman for Louisiana Marijuana Card, said interested patients can learn more about how to qualify for medical marijuana in Louisiana by visiting the website. From there, patients can schedule a telemedicine appointment with a physician. The patient will have to show a valid Louisiana ID.
“It’s basically a virtual doctor’s appointment,” Wilson said. “You can discuss the medical condition you are suffering from and your symptoms. Once the doctor has determined that medical marijuana could be beneficial, they will enter that information in the registry and send it to the dispensaries so the patient can then pick up their medication there.”
Currently, eight dispensaries in Louisiana are authorized to distribute medical marijuana. Those dispensaries are located in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma, Lake Charles, Madisonville, New Orleans and Shreveport. A location in West Monroe is expected to open soon.
Wilson said medical marijuana can be distributed in many forms, including edible products, topical applications and liquid tinctures.
“The thing about marijuana that many people don’t realize is that it is beneficial for treating symptoms of so many different medical conditions,” Wilson said. “One of the most common conditions we see is chronic pain. We’ve seen firsthand how much relief people get from it. It’s a safe medication. People think of it in a taboo way, but that’s not how it is being used today.”
Wilson added that all of the doctors who work with Louisiana Marijuana Card have received extensive training about the benefits and potential side effects of medical marijuana.
“Our doctors come from all backgrounds. The common thread is that they all believe in it as a treatment option and understand the complexities of it,” Wilson said. “They will talk with the patient about the ins and outs of using it. There’s no stigma whatsoever. It’s a judgement-free zone. It’s just about educating patients and discussing why it may be a good option for them.”
For those who are interested in medical marijuana but may not be ready to speak with a doctor just yet, Wilson said Louisiana Marijuana Card offers a patient support line, open seven days a week, for people to call with questions.
“We always say no question is a stupid question because it is a big deal to take this step,” Wilson said. “We really want to educate patients and address anything they do not understand.”
For more information, visit www.louisianamarijuancard.com or call 833-253-2943. For patients interested in booking an appointment today, they may use code ‘NOLA21’ for $20 off their appointment.