Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
September 20, 2023

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of the current legal status of weed (marijuana) in New Orleans, Louisiana. We’ll provide an in-depth overview of the laws and regulations surrounding cannabis, covering both medical and recreational use. Additionally, we’ll explore the history of cannabis legalization in New Orleans and any potential changes on the horizon.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Marijuana Laws in New Orleans

Louisiana’s state laws regarding marijuana encompass both medical and recreational use. While medical marijuana is legal under certain conditions, recreational use remains prohibited in the state, including New Orleans. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry oversees the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana in the state, ensuring that cannabis products comply with the established regulations.

Medical Marijuana in New Orleans

Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Program

The state of Louisiana implemented its medical marijuana program in 2015 with the passing of SB 143. The program’s primary goal is to provide access to medical cannabis for patients suffering from debilitating conditions. The law allows for the use of medical marijuana with low levels of THC, primarily delta-9 THC, the psychoactive component responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use.

Patient Eligibility and Registration

To qualify as a medical marijuana patient in New Orleans, individuals must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition as defined by the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. These conditions include debilitating diseases like cancer, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, among others. Patients must also obtain a medical marijuana card issued by a licensed physician in the state, allowing them to purchase and possess medical cannabis.

Cannabis Dispensaries and Retail Locations

Licensed Dispensaries in New Orleans

Crescent Canna is one of the licensed dispensaries in New Orleans authorized to dispense medical marijuana. Patients with a valid medical marijuana card can purchase various cannabis products, including oils, tinctures, and delta-9 THC gummies, among others.

Product Availability and Regulations

The availability of THC products, such as delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC gummies, is strictly regulated in New Orleans. These products are intended for medical use only and should not be confused with recreational cannabis products. The state law ensures that only registered medical marijuana patients can access these products through licensed dispensaries.

Recreational Marijuana in New Orleans

As of the time of writing, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. Possession, distribution, and use of cannabis for non-medical purposes are subject to strict penalties, including fines and potential jail time.

Decriminalization of Marijuana

Decriminalization Laws in New Orleans

In 2021, there were efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts. Representative Mandie Landry introduced a bill that aimed to reduce the penalties for simple possession of marijuana. However, the bill did not pass, and simple possession of marijuana remains a criminal offense in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Possession Limits

Despite the absence of decriminalization, some states have implemented possession limits for medical marijuana patients to avoid criminal charges. However, New Orleans does not have specific possession limits for registered medical marijuana patients.

Public Consumption and Cultivation

Public Consumption Rules

Public consumption of marijuana is strictly prohibited in New Orleans. Smoking or using cannabis products in public places can result in fines and other legal consequences.

Personal Cultivation for Medical Use

As of the current law, there are no provisions for personal cultivation of marijuana, even for registered medical patients. All medical cannabis must be obtained through licensed dispensaries.

Impact of Cannabis Legalization on Crime and Public Health

Crime Rates

Studies on the impact of marijuana legalization in states like Colorado and Washington have shown no significant increase in crime rates. Similarly, in Louisiana, no substantial evidence suggests that medical marijuana legalization has led to a surge in criminal activities.

Public Health Implications

Legalizing medical marijuana has been associated with potential benefits for certain medical conditions. However, further research is needed to assess the long-term public health effects of medical cannabis use in New Orleans and across the state.

Taxation and Revenue from Marijuana Sales

Marijuana Taxation System

While marijuana sales generate tax revenue in states with legal recreational use, New Orleans does not currently benefit from this revenue stream due to the absence of recreational marijuana legalization.

Utilization of Cannabis Tax Revenue

If recreational use were to be legalized in the future, potential tax revenue from marijuana sales could be allocated to various public services, including education, infrastructure, and law enforcement.


In conclusion, this article provides a thorough examination of the current state of marijuana legalization in New Orleans. By understanding the intricacies of the legal framework surrounding cannabis, residents and visitors can navigate the regulations with greater clarity. It is essential to stay updated with any changes to the laws, as the landscape of cannabis legality continues to evolve. Always refer to official sources and consult legal experts for the latest information.


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