It is done! Governor John Bel Edwards has now signed the “flower bill” (HB 391) that so many Louisianans helped support with calls, emails, social media posts, and in-person lobbying at “The People’s House” (Louisiana State Capitol). Hard to overstate what a big freakin deal this is for the patients of our state and the state of legal Cannabis medicine in Louisiana. For perspective: Our closest (medical marijuana) mmj neighbor, AR, has had flower from the launch of their program ~2 months prior to ours in 2019 and as a result they now have just under 80k patients to Louisiana’s ~10k. Of note, Louisiana has ~1.6 million more residents than Arkansas.

Louisiana’s entire program, thanks mostly to the multifaceted oppression exerted by the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association or LSA, has been built on costly full spectrum Cannabis tinctures that in most of the ~37 mmj states represents only a tiny (single digit) share of retail sales. In January of 2022 (alas, yes, more unnecessary waiting), we will FINALLY be allowed to sell whole plant flower in the 9 (by then perhaps 10) mmj pharmacies around the state. Whether sales actually begin in January is another story altogether, but with public pressure (please help) added to the already considerable pressure the two producers are under to become profitable, I’m comfortable predicting that we will have sales sometime in Q1 2022 of the superior medicine that is cheaper to produce and far more familiar to consumers. Regrettably, I’m even more confident in making the uncomfortable prediction that we will also suffer shortages of flower due to a lack of basic planning and far too few producers for the projected statewide demand.

However, all in all, it’s about as good as news gets for patients and the public in the Cannabis space of Louisiana. It’s a really really big deal in Louisiana and I would be very surprised if it doesn’t end up catapulting the number of participating patients by >10x to over 100,000. Arkansas’ patient participation rate (PPR) is currently around average compared to the rest of the mmj states nationally at ~2.5% while Louisiana’s is currently ~ 0.2%. ┬áSo, in short, it’s a game changer and we should all pause both to celebrate the victory and also to thank Governor Edwards for signing on the line that is dotted. HB 391 is now Act 424 and that leaves only Alabama as the sole remaining mmj state prohibiting medical Cannabis flower sales to their patients in need. Cheers to each and every one of you!