Hemp-derived CBD steps closer to legalization in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers are making steps to clear confusion in laws that have put sellers and buyers of wildly popular hemp-derived CBD products in a catch-22.
The oils are being sold in stores throughout Louisiana even though it's technically a Schedule I narcotic under state law. The products are legal under federal law and now state lawmakers are trying to catch up.
A bill to remove hemp from the state criminal code, and therefore hemp-derived CBD products, passed through a legislative committee Wednesday. House Bill 138 is being sponsored by Rep. Patrick Connick (R-Marrero).
"My wife got a [CBD product] sample from her hair dresser and I told her it's illegal she can't have it. This bill will change that," he said.
Outside of a high-profile and still unfolding arrest in Lafayette, Louisiana law enforcement has not cracked down on the hemp-derived CBD market as the products are non-intoxicating and have little known side effects. Hemp is a cousin to marijuana but with only trace amounts of THC, the chemical which gives people a high.
Authorities in Lafayette alleged sales at a CBD store there contained an unrevealed amount of THC, leading to a raid and arrest last week.
Texas is also grappling with legalizing CBD products. There have been recent reports of passengers being arrested at the Dallas airport for possessing CBD.