Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. Unlike the well-known cannabinoid THC, CBD does not get users high or cause any sort of intoxication. Instead, CBD may have many beneficial properties that have been seen through anecdotal reports and a growing body of research. These may include relief from seizures, help with anxiety and depression, as well as help with conditions that include insomnia and chronic pain.
Until fairly recently, CBD, even when it came from hemp sources, was technically illegal in most of the country. Recent changes in federal and state laws have made CBD more easily legally accessible. Wondering “is CBD legal in Louisiana?” This is what we’ve been able to find out.
Is CBD oil legal in Louisiana?
Yes, CBD oil is legal in Louisiana. Hemp-based CBD can be purchased by people regardless of age or medical condition. There are no limits to how much hemp-based CBD you can possess. Marijuana-derived CBD can be legally purchased by people with certain covered medical conditions who possess a medical marijuana card.
However, Louisiana places additional restrictions on hemp-based CBD. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine to add CBD to an alcoholic drink, food or any other beverage. Smokable CBD products like hemp flower and CBD vapes are also illegal in the state.
What are the current CBD laws in Louisiana?
Currently, Louisiana’s CBD laws conform with the regulations put forward under the 2018 Farm Bill. In the past, hemp was considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This was because, botanically, the plant is just another type of cannabis. While hemp does not contain the psychoactive cannabinoids that marijuana does, both were made illegal under federal law.
All cannabis products were outlawed on a federal level in 1970. However, many states, including Louisiana, put marijuana laws on their books earlier. Cannabis was outlawed in Louisiana in either 1924 or 1927, depending on which sources you check. The prohibition included marijuana, hemp and all derivatives of both plants.
Recreational marijuana in any form remains illegal in the state of Louisiana. However, the state has made some progress toward making cannabis and CBD more accessible for people with medical conditions that might be helped by those substances. On June 30, 2015, state governor Bobby Jindal signed HB 149 into law. This law set up a framework for dispensing medical marijuana, including marijuana-derived CBD products. The first medical cannabis was dispensed in Louisiana four years later on August 6, 2019.
The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way to make CBD even more accessible in Louisiana. This federal bill reclassified hemp from a Schedule 1 substance to a commodity. However, the bill left regulation and enforcement up to each state. The result is a patchwork of laws that need to be checked individually to ensure that you are staying within the rules.
In June, 2019, Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 491, which allowed the sale of hemp-derived CBD products in the state. Under state law, hemp-based products must have less than .3% THC. The law put the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) in charge of regulation. This is something of a departure from other states’ approaches, where most put both CBD cultivation and sales under the purview of state departments of agriculture.
The ATC issued an emergency declaration soon after stating that many previously available forms, such as vaping cartridges, were illegal. Additionally, the emergency order called for background checks for both CBD manufacturers and wholesalers within the state. The declaration led to a great deal of confusion for many CBD users in Louisiana. Individuals said that the new rules made it harder for them to get CBD in the forms that worked best for them. Lawmakers, however, said that the emergency order merely formalized rules that were already on the books.
Additionally, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy joined the ATC in notifying businesses that selling CBD was illegal. Before the passage of HB 491, CBD products were easily obtainable because there was no legal framework. After, agencies interpreted the new law as outlawing many forms of CBD and limiting the sale of remaining forms to people over 18, despite HB 491 making no mention of a legal age.
However, rules were soon clarified. In June, 2020, Governor Edwards signed legislations that would add limits to how CBD could be used and sold in Louisiana. Under the new limits, CBD cannot be added to food, beverages or alcoholic beverages. Nearly all smokable forms of hemp, such as vapes or hemp flower, are banned. The possession and sale of these products can be punished with a fine of up to $300 for a first offense, $100 for a second violation and up to $5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses. There is no legal age restriction for purchasing CBD in Louisiana.
There are also rules regarding what other substances can be combined with CBD in products for sale. Medicinal tasting and smelling ingredients such as capsaicin, camphor, salicylic acid, lidocaine and menthol are all prohibited. Labeling may not use language that includes medical claims such as heal, treat, cancer, pain, ache and relieve. Products must be labeled with the net quantity contained within. CBD products can be sold in a number of forms which include salves, tinctures, capsules, lotions, lib balms, bath bombs and single-use dosing syringes. Retail outlets that wish to sell CBD in the state of Louisiana must obtain a permit from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
It is not currently clear whether it is legal to grow hemp in Louisiana. The website for the Department of Agriculture & Forestry indicates that hemp cultivation is not legal. However, the site has links to apply for licenses for the 2021 growing season. All hemp grown in the state must be tested for THC content. Any hemp that contains more than .3% THC by dry weight must be destroyed. Additionally, the source of hemp seeds must be documented. State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said that there are concerns about germination rates, as well as the possibility of plants that contain more than the legal limit of THC.
Can I purchase CBD in Louisiana?
Yes, you can purchase CBD in Louisiana. Hemp-based CBD products are widely available in specialized CBD stores, general interest retail outlets, convenience stores and other venues. The only exceptions are alcoholic beverages, food and other drinks containing CBD. These remain illegal in the state. It is also illegal to purchase or possess smokable forms of CBD such as vaping cartridges and dried hemp flower.
Marijuana-based CBD products can be acquired at dispensaries throughout the state by people who have medical marijuana cards.
CBD products can also be legally purchased online and shipped to addresses in Louisiana.