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Confusion about CBD legality after Lafayette arrest

4 years 10 months 6 days ago Friday, April 26 2019 Apr 26, 2019 April 26, 2019 12:50 AM April 26, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - CBD products have become popular across the country in recent years with people taking the cannabis-derived therapies for a number of ailments. CBD, abbreviated for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive chemical known to have few side effects and a low risk of addiction.

Now, the arrest of a Lafayette store owner selling CBD has called into question the legality of Louisiana's booming market.

Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said Travis DeYoung, owner of Cajun Cannabis, was doing much more than just selling CBD products at his newly opened shop. DeYoung is accused of selling products containing a combination of CBD and THC, the psychoactive component found in marijuana, and even delivering the products to customers' homes.

"This was in response to multiple specific complaints asking us to look into something. We didn't rush into this and just go and arrest somebody because someone complained," said Garber.

"This is not a situation where we are going to check every store that sells CBD. We are not going to go searching through inventory in Sam's or Costco and things like that," he added.

Notwithstanding the THC, Garber emphasized CBD by itself is illegal under state law. Louisiana considers any part or derivative of the cannabis plant, even hemp-derived CBD, to be a Schedule I narcotic.

The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Trump in December, removed hemp and therefore hemp-derived CBD from the federal Schedule I classification.

With the availability of CBD in stores across Louisiana, local law enforcement agencies in general have not seemed motivated to crack down on the market while state lawmakers are taking steps towards legalization. State Representative Patrick Connick (R-Marrero) is sponsoring a bill to legalize hemp cultivation in Louisiana in accordance with the 2018 Federal Farm Bill.

"That's our job to clear up the confusion, to give the authorities some guidance," he said.

Connick's bill would legalize CBD products in theory, but only products approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. Currently the FDA has only approved one CBD product, Epidiolex, a treatment for certain seizure disorders.

The FDA plans to hold hearings next month to discuss pathways to regulating cannabis-derived products.

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