CBD in Louisiana: Official State Guide
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CBD oil has plenty of health benefits, but it does, after all, come from marijuana.
Unfortunately, Louisiana has a bunch of different laws for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), medical marijuana, and marijuana for adult use. This means navigating Louisiana's complex rules related to hemp products can be difficult.
But no worries—we’re here to break it down for you!
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Is CBD Legal in Louisiana? (Laws and Regulations)
CBD doesn’t make you feel high and offers lots of different medicinal benefits like anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties. As of a few years ago, you can legally buy CBD oil and other CBD products in Louisiana.
In 2019, the state enacted a law outlining and establishing a new legal structure for purchasing these products.
Although the CBD plant is from hemp, it produces low THC amounts. Nevertheless, under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, all types of cannabis were illegal.
However, the federal government passed a provision to change the status of hemp, and the Louisiana bill aligned the state with federal laws.
Specifically, in Louisiana,
- Hemp plants with low THC are legal;
- The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) holds jurisdiction for legal enforcement and regulation;
- The ATC must license a business to sell CBD products;
- Cultivators and producers must meet new labeling requirements.
Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Initially, Louisiana's medical cannabis program excluded many patients who would benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis. While the state legislature improved the laws, current statutes still have limitations.
For instance, access to the product is scarce. Only the Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University are licensed to be cultivators. Louisiana also has approved only nine locations to distribute medical marijuana.
Currently, Governor John Bel Edwards is considering a bill that would make medical marijuana available to more people. Under Louisiana's current law, the whole plant, sometimes called "flower," is illegal. This type of cannabis product is the one you smoke.
Assuming the Governor signs the legislation, medical cannabis will be more accessible to more patients, ultimately allowing more people to benefit from medical marijuana.
While historically quite strict, Louisiana has recently had a law passed that allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for their patients whether they fit these strict requirements or not.
Lawmakers have also added other qualifying conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, traumatic brain injury, and some chronic pain conditions.
Adult-Use Marijuana in Louisiana
On June 14, 2021, the Governor signed a decriminalization bill into law. This bill comes into effect as of August 1, 2021. From that point forward, the penalty for possessing less than 14 grams of marijuana will be a $100 fine rather than jail time!
Louisiana CBD Possession Limits
Currently, Louisiana has no limits on how much CBD a person can own. However, there are several restrictions on the types of CBD products sold. It is illegal to sell the following types of CBD:
- Inhalable CBD.
- Food that contains CBD.
- Alcoholic beverages containing CBD.
- CBD products advertised as dietary supplements.
As far as medical marijuana, a patient can have a 30-day supply for personal use to treat their qualifying condition.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Louisiana
Getting a medical marijuana card in Louisiana requires following a distinct process. First, you as a patient will need a recommendation from a doctor stating that you have a qualifying condition and that, in your physician's opinion, you could benefit from medical marijuana.
Selecting a medical marijuana doctor in Louisiana is problematic since few doctors will issue marijuana recommendations. Before any Louisiana doctor can recommend medical cannabis, they must complete an online program and obtain a "Therapeutic Marijuana Registration" license.
Registration in this program allows a doctor to access the Board of Pharmacy's Medical Cannabis Registry.
After your doctor determines your eligibility and recommends cannabis use, you must visit a pharmacy. Sometimes called dispensaries in other states, Louisiana distributes medical marijuana to patients in a more formal setting.
If you have any of the following qualifying conditions, you are eligible to receive a doctor's recommendation:
- Crohn's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other requirements as determined by a doctor and within the scope of the law.
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Finding Marijuana Dispensaries in Louisiana
Locating a pharmacy or dispensary in Louisiana is challenging too. Louisiana only has nine medical marijuana pharmacies across the state. Since the licenses are spread out across large regions, you might need to drive a long distance from your home to find a store.
The cities and towns in Louisiana that have a dispensary include:
- New Orleans
- Lake Charles
- Baton Rouge
- West Monroe
To purchase any CBD product in Louisiana, you must be at least 18 years old. Those younger may still be able to acquire CBD for medical purposes with special permission.
Notably, the federal government has no rules on who is allowed to buy a product containing CBD since it is a non-intoxicating substance. Still, some states, like Louisiana, have established age requirements on CBD.
Under current law, home cultivation is not allowed in Louisiana. People who live in the state are not allowed to grow marijuana for either medical or adult use.
The products sold in medical marijuana dispensaries are grown in one of two places — LSU or Southern University — and then only sold at nine officially licensed pharmacies.
Inaccessibility to medical cannabis products is a continuing source of strain for Louisiana residents. Many advocates have lobbied lawmakers to change rules in the state to provide for alternative options.
If you have access to medical cannabis products, you can ingest the medicine within your home or other private residence. Cannabis consumption in public is not allowed.
Recently passed legislation in the state has expanded the methods in which a medical cannabis patient can ingest various products. Most significantly, you can now legally smoke the bud or flower.
The average Louisiana citizen is not yet eligible to apply for nor obtain a license to grow marijuana. Only two universities in the state produce the products sold in medical marijuana pharmacies. Cannabis for adult use is not yet legal to purchase in the state.
Importantly, under federal law, it is illegal to grow any type of marijuana for any reason.
For a business to obtain a license to sell medical marijuana, an application and license are required. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and the Board of Pharmacy administer these licenses.
Now that you know the process, you can be on your way to acquiring CBD if you fit the requirements. To recap, Louisiana has distinct rules for the possession and use of CBD products, medical marijuana, and adult-use cannabis.
If derived from hemp, CBD products can be sold in various places and purchased by those older than 18 years of age. Medical marijuana is grown at two specific locations and distributes into nine pharmacies across the state.
Medical marijuana laws recently expanded and now allow patients to smoke the product. Visit your doctor today to see if you might qualify.
If you decide to go a different route, cannabis for adult use is still illegal across the state. However, if you’re caught in possession of marijuana, you will only face a fine rather than jail time.
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Last Updated on August 16, 2021 by admin