Medical marijuana: State lawmakers are poised to greatly expand Louisiana’s medical marijuana program to make more conditions eligible for the treatment. The proposal from Republican Rep. Larry Bagley would authorize therapeutic cannabis for any condition that a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat.” The Senate health committee backed the expansion measure in a 5-1 vote Wednesday, sending it to the full Senate for debate. The House already has voted 77-15 for the bill. Louisiana already allows cannabis to treat a long list of diseases and disorders, such as cancer, seizure disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
Shut down: DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel in Bossier City is permanently closing and laying off its 349 employees due to business circumstances caused by COVID-19, KNOE-TV reports. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones says he’s not sure what the casino’s ownership has planned moving forward. Read the full story.
Party politics: A former state GOP leader in Louisiana is now running day-to-day operations for the North Carolina Republican Party. State party Chairman Michael Whatley announced this week that Jason Doré is the new executive director. Doré had two stints with the Republican Party of Louisiana, serving as executive director and political and communications director. He recently worked within the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington. Read the full story.