After years of discussion about medical marijuana in Louisiana, production of the plant is approaching, pharmacies are angling for exclusive permits to sell the drug and doctors are slowly becoming licensed to prescribe it to patients.

Yet, a number of consultants, prospective pharmacy owners and advocates say the reams of regulations and narrowly-crafted laws enabling the medical marijuana program here will likely have to be loosened at some point if pharmacies are to survive financially.

To help bolster the program's odds for success, efforts already have surfaced to expand the program beyond the current list of 10 serious diseases that qualify patients for the drug.

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Sam Karlin ~