Products sold at the retail level must obtain a permit prior to sale from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
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.
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.
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.
The Department, along with the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, is working to promulgate formal rules that will provide detailed regulations.
CBD is the second-most-prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant behind THC. Generally speaking, THC produces marijuana’s intoxicating effects, while CBD is non-intoxicating and is thought to be responsible for a wide range of the plant’s therapeutic and medicinal qualities.
Currently, CBD oil and other CBD products can be purchased online or at state-licensed retailers including liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores, health food stores, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and CBD-specific retailers.
What is CBD?
Under current Louisiana laws, CBD product labels must include a disclaimer that the product has not been approved by the FDA and a scannable barcode linking the product to its certificate of analysis showing that it does not contain more than 0.3% THC. Additionally, CBD products cannot be labeled as a dietary supplement.
Reputable brands should provide important product details including what form the CBD is in (i.e., oil, capsules, topicals, tincture, etc.), how much CBD the product contains, and what other ingredients are in the product.
That began to change in early 2019, when the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) started notifying businesses selling CBD that what they were doing was illegal. According to these agencies, it was illegal to sell CBD in Louisiana because the state did not make any distinction between marijuana and hemp. Before HB 491 was passed, Louisiana law enforcement simply lumped all forms of the cannabis plant together as a single illegal substance.