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Cannabis in Louisiana is illegal for recreational use. First time possession of the drug remains a criminal offense but was decriminalized statewide in 2015 to a $300 fine and/or 15 days in jail. Possession of marijuana has also been decriminalized in the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport.
Reduction of criminal penalties (2015)
On June 30, 2015, Governor Bobby Jindal signed SB 143, which significantly reduced penalties for possession of cannabis. Under the bill, first time possession is punishable by a $300 fine and 15 days in jail, a second offense by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, a third offense by up a $2,500 fine and up to two years in jail, and fourth or subsequent offenses by up to a $5,000 fine and eight years in prison.
Medical cannabis (2015-present)
On June 30, 2015, Governor Bobby Jindal also signed HB 149, which sets up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes. On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, medical cannabis was dispensed in the state for the first time, supplied by cannabis grower GB Sciences.
In August 2020, HB 819, signed by Governor John Bel Edwards, greatly expanded access to medical cannabis. HB 819 allows any licensed doctor in good standing with the state to recommend cannabis for any condition the doctor "considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat." 
There are currently 9 pharmacies within the state dispensing THC products, one in each state health department region. They are located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, Monroe, Lake Charles, Alexandria, and Madisonville. A 10th pharmacy license could be issued as needed.Products available include tinctures, creams, distillates, gelatin based chewable, and metered dose inhalers. Raw flower is not allowed to be sold in the state. Additionally, only two growers are licensed to grow cannabis: LSU and Southern University. Limited availability and shortages have been reported from some patients.
- Center, Transformative Health. "Cannabis History in Louisiana". Transformative Health Center. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
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- University of Southwestern Louisiana. Center for Louisiana Studies (2005). The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. p. 37. ISBN 9781887366670.
- "Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills". Thedailychronic.net. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Bobby Jindal signs marijuana bills that reform criminal penalties, medical marijuana access". Nola.com. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
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- Bacon-Blood, Littice. "Here's where Louisiana's medical marijuana pharmacies will locate". NOLA.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
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- Israel, Solomon (June 24, 2020). "Louisiana medical marijuana market expected to grow after program changes, but headwinds remain". Marijuana Business Daily. Retrieved March 24, 2021.