December 08, 2020 7 min read

A map showing Louisiana and surrounding states

When hemp was legalized on a federal level, states were granted the ability to create their own laws regarding CBD.

This can be confusing, especially in the case of states that have outlawed most cannabis products.

Is CBD legal in Louisiana, or does the state restrict CBD to its medical cannabis program?

The answer is pretty complicated—CBD may be legal in the state, but certain types of CBD products are restricted.

To clear things up, here’s everything you need to know about Louisiana CBD laws:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Louisiana?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Louisiana?
Does Louisiana have a CBD possession limit?
Can doctors prescribe CBD in Louisiana?
Where to buy CBD in Louisiana?
How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Louisiana?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
Resources

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest CBD 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Louisiana updated legislation to legalize the manufacture and sale of industrial-hemp derived products, but restricts certain types of CBD products. For instance, CBD cannot be added to food or alcohol products.
  • In general, the state’s legal definitions for hemp match the federal definition. Hemp is any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC.
  • There are no minimum age requirements for buying CBD in the state. Instead, vendors may decide age limits for their products, and most may require consumers to be 21 or older.
  • Doctors in Louisiana may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.
  • Louisiana regulates licensing for hemp growers and sellers and restricts certain types of CBD products. They do not impose many regulations regarding quality or consumer safety.
  • Certain practices, like buying CBD online and properly vetting your CBD brand, may reduce the risks of buying low-quality formulas.

Legal Concerns About CBD

It’s true that CBD gained its federal legal status in 2018. The Hemp Farming Act effectively removed industrial hemp and its natural derivatives (like cannabinoids) from the Controlled Substances Act.

But there’s a catch, and it complicates things:

Legal CBD products must come from industrial hemp.

This classification is designated to hemp material that meets a strict set of standards. The most significant is that it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If CBD products are made from any cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC, it is not a federally legal product.

That’s not all—

The final product must contain less than 0.3% THC, too.

That means that even if a brand starts with legal hemp material, they need to carry out careful manufacturing procedures to produce a legal end product. It’s possible for certain cannabinoids to be “concentrated” during the extraction process, leading to higher THC concentrations than in the original material. Proper manufacturing and careful testing need to be employed to avoid this issue.

Because there is very little regulation in the CBD industry, it’s important to evaluate a brand carefully before you buy. It can be hard to tell if a CBD product is made from a legal hemp source and meets the federal guidelines for legal hemp products. The best way to ensure that your CBD products are legal is by checking the third-party lab tests for cannabinoid potency.

Of course, these regulations only apply on a federal scale. You must also ensure that your products meet the standards laid out by federal guidelines and those set by your state.

Two bottles of oral CBD oil, which may be available in stores and online in Louisiana

What are the CBD laws in Louisiana?

Like many states, Louisiana originally made no clear distinction between hemp-derived products and cannabis derived-products. Even after the 2018 Farm Bill passed into law, the state considered hemp derived products to be the same as all cannabis products--making them illegal and subject to penalty.

In 2019, Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 491 into law. This bill clarified hemp as a separate entity from cannabis and better aligned the state with hemp's federal definition. Similarly to laws passed in other states, like Colorado and Kentucky, this bill defined hemp as an "agricultural commodity" making it legal to grow, manufacture, and sell within the state.

The bill offered a few regulations to clarify what is and isn't allowed to be sold. Under the new law, hemp is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and the definition also covers cannabinoids and extracts, like CBD.

CBD products sold in the state are legal of they are derived from a legal, licensed hemp source, but the state does not allow:

  • CBD in alcoholic beverages
  • CBD as a food ingredient unless it is approved by the FDA as a food additive.
  • CBD to be marketed as dietary supplements or with health claims.
  • Any hemp-derived product that is intended for inhalation.

A similar stance on CBD product types has been adopted in other states, like California, New HampshireGeorgia, and Minnesota.

Where the bill defines "criminal penalties" for breaking these state laws, they seem to only be directed at those illegally producing and marketing CBD products and not at consumers. CBD sold in the state is to be regulated by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

Finally, the state imposes a few loose regulations regarding labelling for CBD products in the state, mostly to help oversee the THC content of products to ensure that manufacturers are meeting the requirements of the law.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Louisiana?

It’s easy to assume that CBD isolate is legal in many places since it contains no THC, but many consumers are worried that the trace amounts of THC found in full-spectrum CBD products may cause trouble in states where cannabis is illegal.

Louisiana places several restrictions on the types of CBD products that can be sold within the state, but has no specific restrictions on products containing trace amounts of THC, up to 0.3%. That means that full-spectrum CBD food products may not be legal, but full spectrum CBD is legal in general.

Does Louisiana have a CBD possession limit?

To date, there the state of Louisiana has not highlighted possession limits for CBD products that meet legal guidelines. CBD products that contain over 0.3% THC may be classified as cannabis products, which are illegal in the state.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, you do not need a prescription to access CBD products. In fact, doctors typically cannot “prescribe” CBD products that are sold over the counter, rather they may “recommend” them. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, access usually requires a doctor’s recommendation, not a prescription.

CBD is still new, and only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to date. This product, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is designed to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Aside from this product (which comes with stringent usage guidelines), many doctors are still learning about CBD. If you’re interested in the benefits of CBD, you may need to spark a conversation with your doctor.

Where to buy CBD in Louisiana?

A dropper filled with CBD oil, a type of CBD product that is popular in Louisiana

In Louisiana, CBD products that meet state requirements can be sold by state-licensed vendors. These restrictions are similar to the CBD sales model found in other states, like Colorado and Kentucky, and they haven’t dampened CBD access in the state. You may find CBD in stores all over Louisiana, including grocery markets and convenience stores.

Still, the state does very little to regulate product quality and consumer safety. This lack of regulation can be risky.

Buying CBD online is a suitable option for most consumers. When you buy CBD online directly from the brand, you get better oversight of the brand’s manufacturing practices. Looking at the brand’s hemp source and lab testing procedures can help ensure that the CBD products you choose are clean, potent, and meet legal guidelines.

Buying CBD directly from a brand instead of from a third-party market may also be less costly since you won’t have to pay the extra fees that are often tacked on by the middle man. Of course, premium CBD can be expensive to manufacture, so you should also be wary of products that offer low-ball prices.

Finally, buying CBD online may be the best way to access many different types of CBD. The most common type of CBD product is an oil tincture, but you can find a variety of CBD edibles, topicals, and other specialty products when you shop online.

For more information on how to find high-quality CBD products, check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide.

How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Louisiana?

The legal age to buy CBD is fuzzy, even when looking at federal regulations. In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it gained its popularity as a treatment for various childhood illnesses. Of course, some products may not be suitable for people of all ages, like smokable hemp flower or CBD vaporizers.

In Louisiana, there are no statewide regulations regarding the legal age to buy CBD. Instead, these laws may vary by jurisdiction and are more heavily impacted by the seller. Since the legal age for tobacco products has been raised to 21, many smoke shops may require users to be 21.

Many CBD brands allow customers who are 18 or older to order online and will ship legal CBD products to Louisiana.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to federal updates, CBD has the potential to be legal in every U.S. state. CBD is legal in Louisiana, but is subject to various restrictions. Every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “HB 491” https://legiscan.com/LA/text/HB491/id/2035328

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