New Louisiana Law Prohibits THC-A Flower and the Sale of Intoxicating Hemp Derivatives at Gas Stations

New Louisiana Law Prohibits THC-A Flower and the Sale of Intoxicating Hemp Derivatives at Gas Stations

The recently signed statute also targets THC limits in hemp-derived products and establishes regulatory guidelines for THC-infused beverages.

Another state in the deep South has officially made hemp and its intoxicating derivatives a little more challenging to manufacture and sell. As first reported by MJBizDaily, all smokable hemp flower products, most notably THC-A, are now illegal in Louisiana thanks to a new law designed to restrict intoxicating hemp derivatives or IHDs in the Bayou State.

 

In addition to the ban on specific IHD offerings, House Bill 952, which Gov. Jeff Landry recently signed into law, also:

 
  • Forbids the sale of IHD products in gas stations, convenience stores, and other businesses licensed to sell alcohol.

  • Establishes new limits on the amount of THC allowable per serving, though there is built-in flexibility within the statute's provisions.

 

Under the new law, "consumable hemp products" will now be restricted to a total THC limit of 5 milligrams per serving and no more than 40 milligrams per package. However, the bill does empower the state health department to approve IHD items with more than the 5-milligram limit provided "the consumable hemp processor satisfies certain requirements."

 

According to the measure, "total THC" is now defined as "any combination of tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydracannabinolic acid, THC component, or any derivative thereof."

Likewise, hemp-derived THC beverages will remain legal but cannot be sold in containers smaller than 12 fluid ounces. In addition, businesses must submit all potential products to the health department for chemical analysis and approval.

 

However, the new law's most impactful and rigid provision concerns all smokable hemp items. In constructing the measure's language, lawmakers were adamant about including a blanket ban on "any floral hemp for retail sale," prohibiting all smokable hemp flower, including the polarizing THC-A.

 

The law's sponsors and advocates also want to keep hemp-based THC-infused beverages separate from the state's alcohol industry. While still allowing for the manufacture and sale of the popular alcohol alternative drinks, lawmakers made it clear that businesses with alcohol permits would not be allowed to market and sell any products from the state's hemp industry.

 

The statute also bans the practice of adding IHDs to an alcoholic beverage "at the retail level" and also prohibits packaging and marketing materials aimed at attracting children.

 

The Louisiana law is similar in structure and intent to several other pieces of legislation recently signed into law aimed at creating a regulatory infrastructure for the fast-growing and increasingly popular hemp market sector. 

 

For many industry advocates and stakeholders, the new statute represents a more balanced approach to the complex question of what to do with hemp, particularly IHDs. As with most compromises, both sides of the issue are not entirely satisfied with the ultimate outcome. 

 

However, progress is being made in keeping the public safe and helping maintain a healthy and robust hemp market sector, which provides thousands of jobs and generates millions in much-needed revenue for the state.