Yes, you can purchase hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other CBD products in Louisiana. In 2019, state lawmakers passed legislation that clearly defines and establishes a new legal framework for CBD and CBD products. Prior to the measure, the CBD market in Louisiana was almost entirely unregulated.
Prior to the passage of HB 491, CBD products were widely available throughout the state. Now, retailers are required to get a license from the ATC. As a result, there are fewer places selling CBD products — especially if businesses have to wait for applications to be processed. In the weeks after the measure was passed, the ATC reportedly received more than 500 applications for retail permits. The agency began issuing permits in late June 2019.
What is CBD?
Prior to the passage of HB 491, Louisiana’s CBD market was wide open. Without clear legal definitions or any established framework in place, it was very easy to purchase a wide range of CBD products.
As research remains ongoing, there is a growing body of evidence pointing to CBD’s potential efficacy in medical applications and as a health supplement.
In addition to the above labeling requirements, most reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information:
Baton Rouge — With the passage of House Bill 491, the Louisiana Legislature legalized the sale of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol products, more commonly called CBD.
According to officials with the Department’s Office of Public Health, CBD products manufactured, distributed, imported or sold for use in the state of Louisiana are required to be produced from hemp grown in accordance with standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. CBD products must be labeled in accordance with Louisiana’s Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law.
With the legalization of CBD, the Louisiana Department of Health will take an active role in the regulation of the product. On Tuesday, the Department has the responsibility of permitting manufacturers and registering labels for wholesale food and drug products.
Governor John Bel Edwards signed the legislation into law on June 6. The bill only authorizes the sale of hemp-derived CBD products with a THC concentration of less than 0.3%. Hemp and CBD are still banned from being used in food and drinks.
Products sold at the retail level must obtain a permit prior to sale from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
Nevertheless, major cities in Louisiana such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge recently made a move to decriminalize the use of recreational marijuana in their borders. Furthermore, Senate Bill 143 specified the fines and/or jail time for possessing marijuana. Now, people caught with marijuana for the first time will pay a $300 fine and/or stay in prison for 15 days. If that person is caught again two or more times, the punishment is greater.
Nevertheless, the challenge of regulating CBD products looms large. This is because of the current federal law which puts cannabis in the same narcotics category as LSD and ecstasy. This is also due to the new restrictions introduced by House Bill 491. This bill made the edible and drinkable versions of CBD illegal and placing strict regulations on retailers that sell CBD.
This was also five years after Oregon decriminalized marijuana and more than a decade before California voted to fully legalize medical marijuana. However, this law had a very small effect. It only allowed medical marijuana for patients who either had glaucoma or were undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment. This law also created the Marijuana Prescription Board. The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources in the state appointed the board members.
Furthermore, Louisiana also requires the use of tax stamps for every purchase and possession of medical marijuana in the state. This is because the state has a tax stamp law that mandates users to purchase and put state-issued tax stamps on their marijuana. The tax rate for these stamps go at around $3.50 if the owner possesses 42.5 grams or more of medical marijuana. Failure to comply would cost you 5 years of prison, 200% of the tax rate of the stamp, or both. With these prohibitions, it shows that Louisiana still has a long way to go in easing restrictions in the use of both medical and recreational marijuana.
While the state has taken slow steps in completely legalizing the use of medical marijuana, the development of decriminalization and even the legalization of recreational marijuana in Louisiana has been even slower. Louisiana had one of the strictest and harshest recreational marijuana restrictions in the United States. Possessing around or less than 14 grams of recreational marijuana in the state could mean staying in prison for 15 days and/or paying a $300 fine.
But there’s more to this legislation. The more marijuana you have, the heavier the punishment. You can serve 5 to 30 years with hard labor if you’re caught with 60 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana and a fine between $15,000 and $30,000 will be added to your punishment. Nevertheless, there have been some changes in legislation concerning recreational marijuana although it is still not sure if Louisiana will join Colorado in fully legalizing it any time soon.
Attitudes on cannabis are starting to change not just in the United States but across the globe. This started with Oregon which was the first US state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. And Colorado was the first to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. However, many people in the state of Louisiana still wonder: is CBD legal in Louisiana?