In 2007, after interest from the public, the St. Joseph Abbey in Louisiana decided to start selling the handcrafted caskets they originally started out making for whenever one of their brothers died. Before they could sell their first casket, however, the state informed them that a funeral home license was required to sell caskets in the state. “We can certainly make them, and we can sell them to anybody in the world except other residents of Louisiana,” said Deacon Mark Coudrain. There’s little federal law or oversight regulating the funeral industry, but more states are starting to take a closer look at their laws. “Many state regulations are regulations lobbied for by the funeral homes and some of them can be anti-competitive,” said Craig Tregillus, the funeral rule coordinator at the Federal Trade Commission.

Read the story.