February 19, 2021 6 min read

Delta-8-THC was one cannabinoid that became legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but just like with CBD, not all states agree. Is Delta-8-THC legal in Louisiana, or is the mildly-psychoactive cannabinoid still out of reach?

According to Louisiana state laws, Delta-8-THC derived from hemp is legal in the state.

Here’s what you should know about Louisiana Delta-8-THC laws before you buy:

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest Delta-8 laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.

Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC and Federal Laws
Louisiana Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Louisiana?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Louisiana
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Louisiana?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Louisiana
Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8?
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8 is a cannabinoid derived from legal hemp, and is therefore legal according to federal legislation.
  • Louisiana specifically clarified that hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols are an exception to cannabis and it’s tetrahydrocannabinols where they are classified as Schedule I substances in the state. Delta-8-THC is legal in the state.
  • To ensure that the Delta-8 you purchase is legal, you have to ensure that it is made from legal hemp by a licensed grower.
  • You generally need to be at least 21 years old to purchase Delta-8-THC products made from hemp. You can find it at a limited number of stores in Georgia, but you can also buy legal Delta-8 online and have it shipped directly to your door.

Delta 8 THC and Federal Laws

Delta 8's federal status is confusing at first glance. Technically, Delta-8-THC has been listed as a Schedule I substance alongside Delta-9-THC for well over a decade.

More recently, however, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was signed into law. Under this legislation, hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC became legal, as did any cannabinoids, extracts, or isomers derived from the legal hemp material.

In fact, Section 12619b of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act specifically addresses tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp. By extension of this new law, Delta-8-THC was legal, or so it seemed.

Here's the catch:

Most of the legal Delta-8 products on the market are made by "synthesizing" CBD. While federal hemp legislation currently allows the production and sale of naturally derived cannabinoids, it specifically prohibits all synthesized cannabinoids.

So where does this put Delta-8-THC, considering it is both a naturally occurring cannabinoid and can be synthesized from legal CBD?

To understand, you need to take a look at the method used to turn CBD into Delta 8, which is vastly different from the complex process that is generally used to create synthetic cannabinoids.

The conversion process between CBD and Delta 8 relies on a transfer of isomers, a process called isomerization, between the two cannabinoids. This means that Delta-8-THC technically exists as a hemp "isomer," which is covered by hemp's legal definition according to the 2018 law.

In other words, Delta-8 is made from hemp and considered to be a naturally occurring part of the hemp plant.

The types of cannabinoids that the DEA typically carve out as “synthetic” are liquid agents that are frequently applied to plant material, like K2 and Spice. Legal forms of synthetic cannabinoids, such as Marinol, also exist as prescription pharmaceuticals. Unlike Delta-8-THC, these substances are purely synthetic and made in a lab without the use of plant material.

Of course, laws regarding cannabinoids are still subject to change as hemp regulations are ironed out by both the DEA and FDA. For now, Delta 8 maintains a federally legal status, but state laws still may pose limitations on Delta-8-THC access.

Hemp, a federally legal source for Delta-8-THC.

Louisiana Delta 8 THC Laws

After the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into federal law, Louisiana updated their legislation to send a clear and direct message—hemp, CBD, and all of its other derivatives are legal within the state.

Louisiana defines hemp similarly to the federal legislation, as Cannabis Sativa and all "extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts" and other derivatives. Furthermore, the state updated their Controlled Substances Act to make a specific exception for hemp.

Therefore, Delta-8-THC is legal in the state when it's produced from legal hemp material and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC.

Here are some highlights from the legal text:

HOUSE BILL NO. 491 ACT NO.164. PART V. INDUSTRIAL HEMP

  • 1462. Definitions

(10) “Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

RS 40:961. PART X. UNIFORM CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES LAW

  • 961. Definitions
  • 961.1. Industrial hemp exemption

Notwithstanding the definitions provided for in R.S. 40:961(6) and (26), the provisions of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law shall not apply to industrial hemp or industrial hemp-derived CBD products as provided for in Parts V and VI of Chapter 10-A of Title 3 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. Acts 2019, No. 164, §2, eff. June 6, 2019.

  1. Hallucinogenic substances.

(27) Tetrahydrocannabinols, including synthetic equivalents and derivatives, except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp

Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Louisiana?

Louisiana made a simple amendment to their Controlled Substances Act to add the phrase "except for tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp," under "tetrahydrocannabinols," where they are listed as a Schedule I Substance.

This amendment specifically made hemp-derived THC exempt from the Controlled Substances list in Louisiana.

Therefore, Delta-8-THC is not a controlled substance in Louisiana as long as it is derived from industrial hemp.

Delta 8 THC Possession Limits in Louisiana

Louisiana specifically classifies hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols as "hemp products," for which there are no defined possession limits in place.

Still, Delta-8 could be easily confused for Delta-9 THC by authorities without proper documentation and lab testing.

Basic lab testing checks only for tetrahydrocannabinol, meaning that extensive lab tests are needed to differentiate between Delta-8 content and Delta-9 content when proof of legal possession is needed.

Is Cannabis (Delta 9 THC) Legal in Louisiana?

Louisiana enacted SB 271 in 2016, a bill that finally clarified medical cannabis laws in the state. Under this bill, physicians could recommend cannabis to patients based on a limited number of qualifying conditions, and medical cannabis could be accessed by qualifying patients at state-licensed dispensaries.

Later, the state updated and expanded the list of qualifying conditions to make medical cannabis more accessible in the state.

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in the state. Illegal possession of any amount up to 60 pounds is punishable by a $500 fine and/or up to six months in jail on the first offense, with ascending punishments of up to 20 years in jail for a third offense.

Where to Buy Delta 8 in Louisiana?

Delta-8-THC vapes, one example of the products you can find in Louisiana's legal Delta-8 market.

According to state hemp laws, legal hemp products can be sold in the state so long as it is produced in accordance with the state’s hemp plan. That means you’re in luck if you’re looking to buy Delta-8-THC in Louisiana.

Of course, Louisiana doesn’t produce as much hemp as some other areas where Delta-8 is legal, like Kentucky. In local hemp-friendly Arkansas, Delta-8 is restricted. That means the quality of the products you find in Louisiana may be in question.

Still, it’s advisable to proceed with caution when choosing a Delta-8 distributor. While you can likely find various hemp products in local stores, there may be benefits to buying Delta-8 online. One reason is that you can buy directly from a brand or manufacturer, instead of purchasing through a third-party vendor that may not fully understand Delta-8 effects and uses or the laws surrounding Delta-8 products.

At Bloom Society, our Delta-8-THC products comply with all parameters of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. We can also help answer questions about Delta-8 before you buy, or you can read our “What is Delta-8-THC?” guide to learn everything you need to know.

Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8 in Louisiana?

There are no state regulations that place age restriction on the purchase of hemp-derived products. Retailers have the right to determine age limits for the purchase of Delta-8 products, but many retailers require consumers to be at least 21 years of age.

Is Delta-8-THC Legal in All 50 States?

Delta-8-THC is currently federally legal under the context of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, but each state has the right to determine their own stance on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp. Delta-8-THC is legal in Louisiana according to state law, but you should read more about Delta-8 laws by state to determine the legality in other areas.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Drug Fact Sheet: K2/Spice” https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/K2-spice-2020.pdf
  3. “MARINOL” https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/018651s025s026lbl.pdf
  4. “Act No. 164” http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1143697
  5. “RS 40:961.1” http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=1147703
  6. “RS 40:964” http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=98877
  7. “Act No. 96” https://legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1005148
  8. “Marijauna Laws and Penalties in Louisiana” https://www.la-legal.com/marijuana-laws-penalties-louisiana/

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