In 2015, Louisiana handed a regulation authorizing the prescription of marijuana for the therapy of sure qualifying medical situations, comparable to glaucoma, most cancers, and spastic quadriplegia. In 2018, the statutory listing of situations was amended to incorporate post-traumatic stress dysfunction, autism, and persistent ache. In the identical modification, the legislature designated the Louisiana Division of Agriculture and Forestry to supervise the manufacturing of medical marijuana. Since then, employers with operations and workers in Louisiana have been getting ready for the brand new actuality of managing marijuana within the office. These preparations are set to grow to be much more difficult for Louisiana’s employers in gentle of recent office realities and adjustments to the state’s medical marijuana regulation set to take impact in August 2020.
The Up to date Louisiana Marijuana Legislation
On June 16, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed into regulation House Bill No. 819. Efficient August 1, 2020, Louisianans’ means legally to make use of marijuana to deal with medical situations will probably be tremendously expanded. The regulation amends and reenacts present Louisiana legal guidelines addressing using medical marijuana. The newly enacted measure removes sure restrictions and necessities regarding who can suggest medicinal marijuana to sufferers and tremendously expands the situations for which docs can legally suggest marijuana to their sufferers.
Vital Adjustments to Louisiana’s Present Marijuana Legislation
The primary important change to the present regulation offers with which docs could legally suggest marijuana to Louisiana sufferers. Below present regulation, a health care provider issuing a “advice” offering for the allotting of marijuana to a affected person for the therapy of one of many medical situations enumerated underneath the regulation, should be licensed or licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to make such suggestions. The brand new regulation removes the certification prerequisite for docs to suggest medical marijuana to their sufferers. Going ahead, any physician “licensed by and in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners” to apply medication in Louisiana could suggest medical marijuana to his or her sufferers for the therapy of medical situations.
One other substantial change caused by the brand new regulation is the listing of medical situations that Louisiana docs could legally deal with with marijuana. The present regulation supplies that medical marijuana is legally obtainable for a finite listing of 16 medical situations: most cancers, constructive standing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), cachexia or losing syndrome, seizure problems, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s illness, muscular dystrophy, a number of sclerosis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s illness, extreme muscle spasms, intractable ache, post-traumatic stress dysfunction, and a few situations related to autism spectrum dysfunction.
As soon as the adjustments take impact on August 1, 2020, the listing of medical situations legally treatable with marijuana will not be so finite. Along with the 16 situations docs could presently deal with with marijuana, the regulation will tackle “neurodegenerative illnesses and situations” together with the next illnesses and situations that may qualify for therapy with marijuana: Alzheimer’s illness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS, Huntington’s illness, Lewy physique dementia (LBD), motor neuron illness, Parkinson’s illness, and spinal muscular atrophy. The regulation may also incorporate 4 specified medical situations that Louisiana docs might also legally deal with with marijuana: “traumatic mind damage,” concussions, “persistent ache related to fibromyalgia,” and “persistent ache related to sickle cell illness.”
Lastly, the regulation units forth two unspecified, basic medical situations that qualify for therapy with marijuana. Licensed docs in Louisiana could suggest marijuana to their sufferers for the therapy of “any situation for which a affected person is receiving hospice care or palliative care.” Louisiana docs might also, of their discretion and medical opinion, suggest medical marijuana to sufferers for the therapy of “[a]ny situation.” Whereas it’s unclear what influence the present medical marijuana regulation has had on Louisiana workplaces, any influence is bound to broaden now that any medical physician could deal with “any situation” with marijuana.
Louisiana employers could need to take proactive steps to handle the fact of medical marijuana at work. A few of these steps embrace:
- amending insurance policies and job descriptions to ban drug habit;
- amending insurance policies and job descriptions to ban impairment at work;
- coaching supervisors to be alert to behaviors related to marijuana intoxication; and
- reviewing interview and onboarding supplies for compliance with requirements relating to medical inquiries.