Industrial hemp and CBD are now legal in Louisiana

Louisiana

Governor Jon Bel Edwards legalized the production of industrial hemp and the regulation of CBD sales Thursday in the state of Louisiana.  

The legality of the sale of CBD products has caused debate for months in the state, coming to a head with the arrest of the owner of Cajun Cannabis here in Lafayette. For months retailers operated in the gray area of the law selling CBD products in Louisiana when most officials dubbed it illegal.
 
 “Just because something is being offered in a retail establishment does not necessarily mean that it is totally legal to sell it,” said Lafayette Parish Sheirff Mark Garber following DeYoung’s arrest. 
 
The 2018 Federal Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, classifying it as an agricultural commodity, and outlined a process for states to grow hemp.
 
“As far as the federal government is concerned anything with them less than .3% THC is considered hemp and is completely legal,” said local attorney Dylan Heard. 
 
When legislative session began in Louisiana on April 6, lawmakers worked to catch up to the 2018 Farm bill. Hemp, and its most popular byproduct, CBD, comes from the cannabis sativa species of plant.
Unlike its cousin marijuana, CBD does not have enough THC to get people high. 
 
The original House Bill 491 did not include the sale of CBD, but was amended on May 7. CBD retailers will have to follow strict guidelines that will be laid out by the federal government. 
 
Louisiana will now start to develop its own hemp growing industry from the ground up. All hemp growers must be licensed. The ATC will regulate CBD retailers. 
 
Agriculture specialist say hemp can become a valuable crop for farmers in the area. By joining the 30 other states that already have adopted hemp growing programs, Louisiana farmers hope to introduce another money-making crop to the state. 
 
Applications for Louisiana retailers looking to sell CBD products will be able available through the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control starting June 17. 
 
The state will have to present a regulatory plan to the federal government by November 1. 

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