CBD has been gaining a lot of traction in the US as a health supplement. With its growing popularity, more and more people have been wondering how they can legally get their hands on some CBD for different therapeutic and health reasons.
However, while the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD, it is essential that you remain up to date with your local cannabis laws in your respective state. While some states have also taken the initiative to legalize hemp and CBD after the bill, some are still adamant at maintaining the illegality of CBD within their state.
With more research being advanced on CBD and marijuana, more states are updating their CBD and marijuana laws under certain conditions to allow access to these compounds.
Unfortunately, Louisiana is not marijuana-friendly, and it has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the state. In this state, marijuana is illegal for recreational use. Anyone found in possession of up to 14g of marijuana risks a $300 fine and 15 days in the New Orleans Parish Prison (considered one of the ten worst prisons in America).
While this state is famous for its vibrant culture, it wasn’t until June 2019 that residents could legally obtain CBD products in Louisiana.
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Is CBD Legal in Louisiana?
CBD became legal in Louisiana when Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 491 into law in June 2019. When it comes to CBD oil and CBD products in the Pelican state, this is arguably the most fundamental law in Louisiana because it clearly defines as well as legalizes CBD in the state.
The bill lays out the CBD products that are allowed in the states and also outlines the rules and regulations of cultivating, processing, labeling, distributing, and retailing CBD oil products. Before the bill was signed into law, the CBD market in this vibrant state was wide open.
Hence, before then, it was quite easy to buy CBD products because the legal definitions were not clear, and the country had not established a framework in place.
However, this started to change when the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy began to notify CBD retailers in early 2019 that they were selling CBD illegally.
These agencies established that it was illegal to sell CBD in the country since Louisiana had not yet made any distinction between hemp and marijuana. At the time, all forms of the cannabis plant were lumped up as a single illegal substance.
Hence, HB 491 was signed into law to address the discrepancy that had come up after the signing of the Farm Bill established the federal law in 2018 by president Trump. With the signing of the bill, Louisiana came into alignment with the federal rules.
According to the bill, CBD oil with no more than 0.3% is legal in this country. The oil should also be derived from hemp plants. The bill put the CBD industry in the state under the jurisdiction of the ATC. Hence, the ATC is in charge of overseeing CBD the same way it does alcohol and tobacco sales in Louisiana.
Hence, before selling CBD, retailers should first get licensed by the ATC. Hemp producers and cultivators are expected to meet new labeling requirements and regularly test to check that the THC level in the products is within the legal limit.
Even with the harsh laws on cannabis, Louisiana was among the first countries to attempt to have a medical marijuana program in 1978. This was during the time when Governor Edwin Edwards opened the door to medical marijuana for cancer and glaucoma patients by introducing Act 725.
The law required that the Department of Health of Louisiana appoint members to the Marijuana Prescription Review Board. However, this never happened, and so Act 725 never came into effect.
Thirteen years later, the country included “spastic quadriplegia” to their list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana, but the Department of Health still didn’t advance the program. The Department’s main issue was that the law had no framework for cultivating and prescribing medical cannabis.
These issues persisted into the 90s until 2014 when the state introduced Senate Bill 541, which was meant to provide the framework for both producing and dispensing medical cannabis to those who needed it. However, the Senate health committee shut down the bill with a vote of 6-2.
In 2015, Act 261 was passed. With this Act, physicians in this country were allowed to prescribe marijuana to patients with qualifying conditions. However, medical marijuana was to be prescribed for a limited number of health conditions.
After the 2019 bill that was signed into law by John Bel Edwards, Act 261 was amended, allowing only 88 doctors licensed by the country to issue a physician recommendation form to patients diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions. Hence, doctors are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana, but they can recommend it.
Under Act 26, qualifying medical conditions include:
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Louisiana later introduced Acts 496 and 708 in 2018 and added Parkinson’s Disease, Glaucoma, Severe muscle spasms, Post-traumatic stress disorder, and severe pain as part of the list of qualifying conditions.
Autism was also included in the list but with specific autistic criteria such as:
- Avoidance of other people to the point of the individual’s health is compromised.
- Self-stimulatory or repetitive behavior that is severe enough to put the victim in danger
- If the patient’s behavior is self-destructive or physically aggressive
Like CBD products became legal in Louisiana, medical marijuana became available in the state pharmacy shelves as of August 1, 2019. During this time, the state-licensed nine pharmacies to legally dispense medical marijuana. Hence, the 88 doctors authorized to recommend medical cannabis to patients they come across can always direct them to either of these pharmacies.
Even so, it is illegal to smoke marijuana in Louisiana. GB Sciences of Louisiana, a sub-contractor of Louisiana State University, became the first to disperse the first round of medical marijuana.
In 2019, Representative Ted James signed HB 358. The bill allowed some qualifying patients to inhale medical cannabis through special devices such as vaporizers. These devices are meant to function like asthma inhalers, where they deliver measurable doses of medical marijuana.
However, it is illegal to be in possession of cannabis-derived CBD oil in Louisiana without a doctor’s recommendation. This is because the THC content in cannabis-derived CBD oil has more than 0.3% THC. The legal limit of THC should always be 0.3%.
Hence, it would be best if you always went for CBD oil that is from industrial hemp derived because it won’t contain more than 0.3% THC. Any hemp derived CBD products, under federal law, should typically contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal in all 50 states.
Why You Should Buy CBD Oil Online in Louisiana
When it comes to buying quality hemp-derived CBD products, the most convenient method is by ordering via online retailers. To remain within the state law requirements, you need to be fully aware of what is in the CBD products before making a purchase.
With online purchases, you can always make sure that your oil has gone through third-party lab testing by checking the results or requesting the results online. These results help you confirm that the oil is free of unwanted contaminants and has less than 0.3% THC.
You can easily find online companies that use the CO2 extraction method to make their CBD oil products. We recommend going for CBD extracted using this method because the CBD will be cleaner than other extraction methods. The lack of additional solvents and heat ensures the quality of the oil is maintained.
You can easily compare CBD products online, which is more convenient than having to drive around town from one store to another comparing the prices. With just a couple of clicks, you will get high-quality hemp derived CBD oil without indulging in a 15-minute drive.
You will also be exposed to a greater variety of CBD products that will suit your CBD needs. You will also find CBD in different forms like creams, tinctures, waxes, capsules, lotions, and even products for your pet. With online retailers, you will also take advantage of discount offers and bulk sale of hemp.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Louisiana
If you want to get first-hand information about the product you are looking to purchase, then local stores are an excellent place to start. Local stores tend to have helpful and knowledgeable employees who help point you in the right direction.
You will find stores that legally sell CBD oil in Louisiana in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, and Houma. We recommend finding a local store you fully trust because local retailers have no way of confirming if THC in the CBD product is within the legal limit.
State legislation in Louisiana finally allows you to buy and use CBD oil and its derivatives as long as it is sourced from industrial hemp and has less than 0.3% THC. Hence, Louisiana residents can now legally access CBD oil and medical marijuana for those with qualifying conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
CBD is a prevalent cannabinoid present in cannabis plants. It is the second-most prevalent compound in the plant after THC. It is deemed responsible for a wide range of therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
No. physicians in Louisiana should not prescribe CBD oil to patients as it is illegal. However, they can recommend CBD oil to patients with state-qualifying medical conditions.