Louisiana House Approves Hemp Legislation — But Does It Go Far Enough?

The Louisiana House unanimously passed a bill to make hemp cultivation legal on Wednesday — but advocates continue to point out that the legislation does not go far enough to provide clarity in the state’s legal system. Given recent law enforcement policing of CBD distributors, that’s a major issue.

“The idea is to grow and take advantage of a crop we have’t been growing since 1938,” said Representative Clay Schexnayder, who sponsored House Bill 491. The bill prohibits CBD-infused food and alcohol, though it does lay some regulatory groundwork for selling other CBD products.

The bill will now go to the Louisiana Senate.

HB 491 does not follow the heartening national trend of including measures in cannabis product legalization bills to account for past injustices served by cannabis prohibition. In fact, it exacerbates them — the legislation bans anyone with even a drug-related misdemeanor charge from within the last decade on their record from being employed in the new hemp industry. In another limitation, the bill does not allow residents to grow hemp for personal use.

Some also fear that the new bill will not do enough to clear up existing CBD laws. That’s an urgent issue for many Louisiana

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