The state of Louisiana is getting prepared to implement medical marijuana legalization, with nine licensed dispensaries and two growers set to begin business. There's only one problem: there's no one to actually prescribe it.
According to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, only 10 doctors have received licenses to prescribe medical marijuana. But before you go blaming the state for dragging its feet to hand out licenses, you should know that only 15 doctors even applied for licenses. This is worrying a lot of potential medical marijuana patients who fear they won't be able to receive access to cannabis due to the limited number of physicians who can actually prescribe it.
Some believe that the drug's illegal status at the federal level is keeping physicians away. They worry about possible repercussions from the government. There's also the issue that doctors don't actually "prescribe" marijuana like they would with other drugs, where they can set doses for patients. They simply recommend or certify that their patients should use cannabis, and then it's out of their control.
Of course, none of these concerns are limited simply to Louisiana. 29 other states have legalized medical marijuana and dealt with these same issues, so you'd think Louisiana doctors would have less to worry about.
There is still time however. Medical marijuana sales are still probably a few months away in Louisiana, so more doctors may join the program in the future.