While medical marijuana has been legal to prescribe in Louisiana since the 1990’s, it’s illegal to sell it. Now, a bill moving through the legislature could soon change that.

On Wednesday, the House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill that establishes an application fee for pharmacies seeking to sell medical marijuana.

Ville Plate pharmacist and State Representative H. Bernard Lebas (D – Ville Platte) explains, “It’s a drug and it’s a very good drug if it’s used correctly. It’s no different than any other medication, it’s probably safer than some of them already on the market.”

Not every pharmacy that applies will be chosen. Only 10 licenses are available.

“You can imagine how many are going to compete for that contract, it’s going to be in high demand” says Representative Dodie Horton (R – Haughton).

Representative Lebas explains the legislature is, “taking baby steps until we get a handle on it, this won’t be Colorado where people can walk into a store and purchase marijuana.”

The fee to apply for a license is $5,000. The pharmacies that are chosen will then pay $150 a year for the permit to operate a store.

You won’t find these pharmacies selling the leafy green that most people associate with the drug. Instead, patients can choose from lotion, pills or capsules.

The medical marijuana bill now heads to the full house for consideration. If it passes there, it’ll go before the senate and then straight to the governor’s desk.