Patients seeking Medical Marijuana in Louisiana may not be able to get it even though sales are set to start very soon. So far, only two doctors in the entire state have filed applications to dispense the plant.

More medical cannabis applications coming

As of now, one medical cannabis permit has been approved by the state, while the other is still awaiting review. However, lawmakers and cannabis advocates still think the program will be a success. They fully expect an increase in applications as well as patients asking for medical Marijuana in the coming months.

Per a NOLA.com article, Republican Senator Fred Mills personally spoke with 400 to 500 patients who plan to ask their doctor for cannabis treatment.

These people are dealing with “debilitating diseases” and feel weed is likely the answer to relief.

Controversial program

While experts are not sure why Louisiana’s medical marijuana program has such low response, some believe the conservative nature of the state is holding it back. Many in law enforcement and several district attorney offices are in opposition to the use of cannabis, even for medicinal purposes. They fear the program will eventually lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana, something many conservative Louisiana residents do not want. Yet, lawmakers in support counter by saying medical weed will help children with specific health problems and keep parents from moving to other states where it is legal, like Washington or Colorado.

Medical marijuana law in Louisiana

Under Louisiana’s medical marijuana law, doctors cannot write a prescription for the plant.

They must use a “physician recommendation form.” As federal law bans medical professionals from prescribing cannabis, this carefully worded document keeps doctors from losing their medical license.

The list of health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment is limited. Patients with certain types of cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, epilepsy, and muscular dystrophy can get the treatment once the program is fully underway.

The rules of Louisiana’s program prohibit smoking of cannabis. Sprays, oils, pills, and topical applications are the only approved delivery methods.

Only two approved medical marijuana growers

Currently, just two facilities in Louisiana, Southern University and Louisiana State University, have state authorization to grow medical marijuana. The first cannabis products will not be available until next summer, according to LSU’s agricultural center.