Doctors in Louisiana can now prescribe medical cannabis to patients for “any condition” after senators passed a legislation bill to give them that permission.
Medical cannabis expansion
On Wednesday, 28 senate members voted in favor of the revised version of House Bill 819. Only six members voted against the motion. The new law allows a qualified doctor to prescribe cannabis therapy for “any condition” that he or she deems devastating to a patient. This removes the limits of the existing law, which allows physicians to only recommend medical cannabis products to patients with specific conditions, mainly HIV or cancer.
So far, a few states including California, Maine, and Virginia have ratified similar steps to allow qualified physicians to prescribe medical cannabis remedies to any patient who they believe may possibly benefit from them. In a previous House meeting, members passed the measure 77-15. According to the amendments made by the Senate, cannabis dispensaries licensed by the state will have to “comply with the reporting requirements of the [state’s] prescription monitoring program.” A concurrence vote on House Bill 819 is scheduled for Friday, May 29.
Other cannabis-related bills for the Senate to discuss include HB 792, which seeks to establish regulations allowing home delivery of cannabis products to registered patients. HB 418 is another bill pending approval by the Senate. It seeks to shield from prosecution “any facility that is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health that has patients in its care using medical marijuana.”
Cannabis investors in Zimbabwe to get full farm ownership
Meanwhile, in related cannabis news, the government of Zimbabwe has given both local and foreign cannabis investors the green light own farms and licenses. The decision aims to improve competitiveness in the cannabis industry.
In 2018, Zimbabwe became the second African country to legalize cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes. Following the legalization, more than 150 foreign and local investors expressed interest in cannabis farming. Last year, an additional 37 local and private investors expressed the same intention.
Regarding this new development, Zimbabwe’s Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said:
Following Cabinet’s decision and high-level meeting, a policy change enabling investors to hold 100 percent ownership of Medical Cannabis licenses were made in order to improve the competitiveness of the sector both regionally and globally.
Under the new dispensation, investors interested in cannabis farming will require a five-year license, subject to renewal at the expiry of its term. Investors will also have the option to use private land for cannabis farming.
Before legalization, Zimbabwe considered production and possession of cannabis illegal. The crime attracted a jail time of up to 12 years. Cannabis legalization in Zimbabwe is limited to medicinal and scientific purposes, as recreational use of the plant remains illegal in the country.