In 2015, Louisiana handed a regulation authorizing the prescription of marijuana for the remedy of sure qualifying medical circumstances, comparable to glaucoma, most cancers, and spastic quadriplegia. In 2018, the statutory listing of circumstances 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 change into much more difficult for Louisiana’s employers in mild of latest office realities and modifications to the state’s medical marijuana regulation set to take impact in August 2020.
The Up to date Louisiana Marijuana Regulation
On June 16, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed into regulation Home Invoice No. 819. Efficient August 1, 2020, Louisianans’ potential legally to make use of marijuana to deal with medical circumstances shall be tremendously expanded. The regulation amends and reenacts present Louisiana legal guidelines addressing the usage of medical marijuana. The newly enacted measure removes sure restrictions and necessities regarding who can suggest medicinal marijuana to sufferers and tremendously expands the circumstances for which docs can legally suggest marijuana to their sufferers.
Vital Adjustments to Louisiana’s Present Marijuana Regulation
The primary important change to the present regulation offers with which docs might legally suggest marijuana to Louisiana sufferers. Underneath present regulation, a health care provider issuing a “advice” offering for the shelling out of marijuana to a affected person for the remedy of one of many medical circumstances enumerated underneath the regulation, have to 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 follow drugs in Louisiana might suggest medical marijuana to his or her sufferers for the remedy of medical circumstances.
One other substantial change caused by the brand new regulation is the listing of medical circumstances that Louisiana docs might legally deal with with marijuana. The present regulation supplies that medical marijuana is legally accessible for a finite listing of 16 medical circumstances: most cancers, constructive standing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), cachexia or losing syndrome, seizure issues, 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 circumstances related to autism spectrum dysfunction.
As soon as the modifications take impact on August 1, 2020, the listing of medical circumstances legally treatable with marijuana will now not be so finite. Along with the 16 circumstances docs might at present deal with with marijuana, the regulation will tackle “neurodegenerative ailments and circumstances” together with the next ailments and circumstances that can qualify for remedy 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 circumstances that Louisiana docs can 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, normal medical circumstances that qualify for remedy with marijuana. Licensed docs in Louisiana might suggest marijuana to their sufferers for the remedy of “any situation for which a affected person is receiving hospice care or palliative care.” Louisiana docs can also, of their discretion and medical opinion, suggest medical marijuana to sufferers for the remedy of “[a]ny situation.” Whereas it’s unclear what influence the present medical marijuana regulation has had on Louisiana workplaces, any influence is certain to broaden now that any medical physician might deal with “any situation” with marijuana.
Louisiana employers might wish 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 dependancy;
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.
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