Is CBD Legal In Louisiana 2021 & Do You Need A Prescription?
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.
About Keith Myers
Keith J. Myers is Editor in Chief of the Health Canal. He has overseen and directed the editorial growth and skill of this website since 2012. Before joining Health Canal, Keith was a writer and editor who covered topics in CBD, health, science, and wellness.
Wondering if CBD is legal in Louisiana this 2021. Get to know the CBD laws and approved THC content level in this state, and much more.
Is CBD oil legal In Louisiana?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Louisiana CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Louisiana
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
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.
Under the state’s new law, hemp-derived CBD oil and a number of other CBD products are legal. However, there are also a number of new restrictions on the types of CBD products that are permitted. Additionally, there are still key pieces of Louisiana’s CBD laws that are being formulated. As these laws take shape, expect to see more changes to how Louisiana governs and regulates CBD.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant naturally produces more than 400 chemical compounds, at least 60 of which are cannabinoid compounds. Cannabinoids interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system to produce a broad range of physical and psychoactive effects.
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.
To date, researchers have identified a number of potential health benefits linked to CBD, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties. Further, the chemical has shown promise in treating numerous health conditions, including epilepsy and other seizure disorders; mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis; as well as pain relief.
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.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Even though hemp strains don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis into Schedule 1, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and created a pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal threshold between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, while marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. Hemp-derived CBD was thus descheduled by the bill, but CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal because marijuana is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity, it still must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has yet to create these regulations.
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The Farm Bill also granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with authority to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of re-evaluating its stance, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products, leading to further confusion. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD.
The federal legislation thus still highly regulates the production and sale of hemp, and its cannabinoids, including CBD. The Farm Bill also provides that states may regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. In addition, states may attempt to regulate CBD food, beverage, dietary supplement, and cosmetic products, independently of the FDA finalizing its views on such products.
Louisiana CBD laws
In June 2019, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB 491 into law. This is arguably the most important law related to CBD oil and other CBD products in Louisiana, as it explicitly defines and legalizes CBD in the state. It also lays out whether certain CBD products are allowed in the state, and outlines a number of regulations related to cultivation, production, labeling, distribution, and retail.
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.
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.
At the time, this put Louisiana at odds with the federal law established by the 2018 Farm Bill. HB 491 was passed in order to address this discrepancy.. For the most part, this bill brought Louisiana state law into alignment with federal rules. The most important rules established in HB 491 include:
- Hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC are legal in Louisiana.
- Products derived from legal hemp plants are also legal in the state. That includes CBD oil and other hemp CBD products.
- The bill puts the bulk of the state’s CBD industry under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).
- The ATC now oversees CBD in much the same way it manages alcohol and tobacco sales in the state.
- To sell hemp-derived CBD products, a retailer must first be licensed by the ATC.
- Cultivators and producers must meet new labeling requirements, geared primarily toward providing proof that the products have been tested for allowable levels of THC.
Louisiana CBD possession limits
There are no limits on how much hemp-derived CBD a person can possess in Louisiana. However, there are a number of restrictions on the types of CBD products that can legally be sold and purchased. Louisiana’s rules conform to rules established by the FDA. It is currently illegal to sell the following types of CBD:
- Inhalable CBD.
- Food products that contain CBD.
- Alcoholic beverages that contain CBD.
- Any CBD used as a food additive.
- CBD marketed as a dietary supplement.
Where to buy CBD in Louisiana
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.
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.
When it comes to online sales, CBD is most frequently found on brand-specific websites. You can also find verified CBD brands on Weedmaps.
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.
When purchasing from a retailer, especially if it’s a CBD specialist, you can typically get in-person help and expertise from an employee. Explain what you’re looking for and why you are consuming CBD and they can point you in the right direction.
A bottle of CBD oil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How to read CBD labels and packaging
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.
In addition to the above labeling requirements, most reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
One of the most important things to pay attention to is whether a CBD product is “full spectrum,” “broad spectrum,” or “isolate.”
Full spectrum means that the CBD has been extracted from a hemp plant along with all other chemicals in the plant, including terpenes and trace amounts of THC. Consuming full-spectrum CBD may yield better results thanks to the entourage effect, a phenomenon in which the entire mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes work together and complement one another inside the body.
Broad spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processes to strip out any THC.
Finally, CBD isolate is a product that has gone through more intensive processing to remove everything except for CBD. Consuming isolate may produce different effects than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, as these products do not produce the entourage effect.
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