Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill into law on Wednesday containing regulations for the state’s industrial hemp and CBD industry. The bill, ACT 344/HB 843, includes language that bans all smokeable hemp products — except for rolling papers.
The legislation gives a distinct outline of the industry including licensing requirements, application/permit fees, regulations for the labeling and testing of CBD products, as well as regulations for other industrial hemp-based products. The ban on inhalable hemp products is likely a preemptive crutch for law enforcement agencies, which often have trouble discerning between illicit, THC-rich cannabis products and federally legal, CBD-rich hemp flower.
The legislation sets penalties for violating the new policies at a maximum fine of $300 for the first offense and a maximum fine of $1,000 for the second offense; third and subsequent convictions can result in fines of up to $5,000.
According to a KATC News report, the bill also grants the Department of Agriculture and Forestry the power to issue stop orders to businesses and allows for the state commissioner of alcohol and tobacco control to issue civil fines for violations.
Louisiana recently expanded its medical cannabis laws to allow doctors to recommend patients for the program for “any condition … that a physician, in his medical opinion, considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat.”