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Louisiana opts for delta-8 THC regulation over ban



Louisiana has opened registration for businesses selling foods with hemp-derived cannabinoids — including delta-8 THC, reports Hemp Industry Daily.


The Louisiana Department of Health sent an email to businesses earlier this week announcing that the agency was accepting applications for licenses to make cannabinoid edibles.


They explicitly included delta-8 THC as one that would be allowed. According to Hemp Industry Daily the email read, “This includes the addition of food products containing CBD and delta-8 (THC) products.”

Recent legislation expanded the definition of consumable hemp, which had previously been limited to CBD, according to the state’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. It also established a hemp wholesale permit and legalized food and beverages with hemp-derived cannabinoids, although they do need to be registered and approved by the Louisiana Department of Health first.


The Old Rules

Before August 1, the law addressed only “Industrial Hemp Derived Cannabidiol,” and barred the sale of food or beverages containing hemp derivatives. It allowed an exception for FDA-approved CBD as a food additive. However, no such product exists at this time, because the FDA hasn’t approved any non-medical CBD products.


The law also said that the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control wouldn’t oversee permitting or regulation of hemp manufacturers, distributors, or retailers.


The New Rules

Effective August 1, “CBD" was changed to “consumable hemp” to include the broad spectrum of hemp-derived cannabinoids. The act also ended the prohibition on edible and beverage hemp products, with the caveat that they must be registered and approved by the Louisiana Department of Health before they can be offered for sale. The department has a publicly available list of registered hemp products from both within and outside of the state.

Finally, the new law gives the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control authority to regulate hemp product sales and report violations to law enforcement.


In a memo, the ATC said it “remains committed to supporting businesses in the ever expanding and rapidly growing consumable hemp industry while ensuring that such businesses have the requisite knowledge of and adhere to all applicable laws, rules and regulations.”

“ATC remains committed to supporting businesses in the ever expanding and rapidly growing consumable hemp industry while ensuring that such businesses have the requisite knowledge of and adhere to all applicable laws, rules and regulations.”

— Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control


'A Surprising Step'

Hemp Industry Daily called the acceptance of delta-8 “a surprising step as more than a dozen states are going the opposite direction and banning the THC isomer or limiting it to marijuana retail.”

Eighteen states have banned delta-8 THC either administratively or with new laws.


Per Hemp Industry Daily: Louisiana allows medical marijuana but currently has just nine operating dispensaries. The state will soon allow sale of raw, smokable cannabis for medical use, to begin in January 2022.


That bill was passed by lawmakers in June, and will allow unprocessed delta-9 cannabis to to be sold alongside the oils, tinctures, lotions, inhalers, and gummies already in the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

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