Louisiana legalizes hemp farming but bans smokable hemp and limits CBD sales

Louisiana has finally legalized hemp production and CBD sales – with caveats.

The state is putting limits on the kinds of CBD products that can be sold, and farmers will have to wait until 2020 to grow legal hemp.

CBD retailers in Louisiana will have to get licenses from the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, and those licenses will come with limits on the kinds of legal hemp products they can sell.

Some highlights of the Louisiana requirements:

  • The sale of smokable hemp is prohibited.
  • CBD products must be sold as food or cosmetics and not “marketed as a dietary supplement.”
  • CBD products must carry scannable bar codes, QR codes or other information to verify the product’s certificate of analysis.
  • CBD products must carry the warning, “This product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
  • CBD retail permits will be capped at $175 a year.
  • Applications to sell CBD in Louisiana won’t be released until June 17.

The new law takes effect immediately but won’t allow for hemp farming in 2019. That’s because the state Agricultural Chemistry and Seed Commission has until Oct. 15 to develop a plan to regulate hemp.

Other details in Louisiana’s new hemp law:

  • The state will have separate licenses for hempseed producers, hemp growers, hemp transporters and hemp processors.
  • Felons will face a 10-year ban from participating in the hemp industry.
  • Licenses for growers and processors will be capped at $500 a year.
  • THC testing fees are capped at $250 a year.
  • Unlike commercial farmers, the state’s two agricultural research institutions – Louisiana State University and Southern University – will not be required to destroy hemp crops with THC content above 0.3% THC.

Associated Press contributed to this report.