Louisiana Regulates Delta-8 THC, But Hasn’t Banned It

Louisiana has a dosage limit, but sill allows delta-8 THC.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is the senior editor at CBD Oracle, and has been covering science, vaping and cannabis for over 10 years. He has a MS in Theoretical Physics from Uppsala...

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Fact checked byNeil Willner

Fact checked by

Neil Willner

Neil M. Willner is an experienced cannabis attorney at Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC and co-chair of the firm's Cannabis Group. He focuses his practice on the cannabis industry and...

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Delta-8 THC grown in Louisiana
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Delta-8 THC is legal in Louisiana, but there are some important limitations. Unlike lawmakers in many other states, Louisiana’s politicians passed more bills clarifying the hemp law after the initial rush after the 2018 Farm Bill passed. This means Louisiana has a slightly different set of rules than the blueprint laid down by federal law, in particular, limiting the maximum amount of THC in hemp products and making sure only adults can buy them. 

Here’s a run-down of the most important Louisiana hemp laws. 

Yes, delta-8 THC is legal in Louisiana, provided that it meets several requirements, including a total THC limit of 8 mg per serving.

Louisiana passed House Bill (HB) 491 in 2019, defining industrial hemp in the same way as the 2018 federal Farm Bill. The prevailing legal argument is that this wording legalizes delta-8 THC. In particular, the definition of hemp includes “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers…” from a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. 

A couple of bills have clarified the situation for delta-8 THC and other hemp products in the state (see below). The result of this is that you can’t sell hemp for inhalation (apart from rolling papers), consumable hemp has a total THC limit of 8 mg per serving and 1% by dry weight and any product with more than 0.5 mg of THC can only be sold to adults aged 21 or older

RELATED: Where Is Delta-8 THC Legal? A State-by-State Guide 

Delta-8 THC Legislation Timeline for Louisiana 

Delta-8 THC was legalized in Louisiana in June 2019, with important clarifying laws being passed in 2021 and 2022.

The federal government passed the Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill) in 2018, which legalized hemp and hemp-derived compounds across the US. Louisiana passed HB 491 in June 2019, essentially the state’s version of the Farm Bill, and defined hemp in line with federal law. The bill also removed hemp and all hemp compounds from its list of controlled substances.  

In June 2021, state legislators passed HB 640, which modified the existing law in several ways (for example, changing “CBD products” to “consumable hemp products”) and added some important restrictions. For example, the bill made it illegal for a consumable hemp product in the state to contain more than 1% total THC (which is understood to include delta-8, delta-9 and all THCs) and to not contain any cannabinoid that is not naturally-occurring (page 11, lines 24-26/sections §1483.B(7) and (8)). 

In June 2022, HB 758 was signed into law, which further clarified rules around hemp. This bill created a category of “adult use consumable hemp products” (page 4, lines 4-5/section §1481(1)) which is any product derived from hemp intended for consumption that contains more than 0.5 mg of total THC. It also sets some important limits, in particular that any consumable hemp product can’t contain more than 8 mg of THC per serving, but this doesn’t apply to floral hemp material (i.e. hemp flower) (page 6, lines 23-30/section §1483.B(6)).

HB 758 also made it so that any adult use consumable hemp product can only be sold to somebody aged 21 or over (page 10, lines 5-6/section §1484.B(4)(b)).

On June 26, 2023, the Louisiana Department of Health instituted an emergency rule concerning the registration of consumable hemp products. Among other things, the emergency rule clarifies what constitutes a serving size for different product forms. For example, a single serving has to be fully separated from other servings, rather than just being scored so they’re easy to separate.

Can Delta-8 THC Be Added to Food? 

Delta-8 THC edibles are legal in Louisiana, but with restrictions and only if they are sold within the state. 

Louisiana’s older hemp law, HB 491, stated specifically (page 11, lines 16-17/section §1482.A(3)) that it was illegal to process or sell, “Any food product or beverage containing CBD unless the United States Food and Drug Administration approves CBD as a food additive.” However, this line was removed in HB 640, which instead states that (page 10, lines 17-19/section §1482.D) that this part will be preempted by federal statutes which are less restrictive than the provisions it contains. Further, HB 758 establishes a dosage limit per serving for consumable hemp products.

In short, Louisiana law allows for hemp edibles, but federal law does not. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) as interpreted by the FDA prevents anyone adding delta-8 THC or CBD to food that will go into interstate commerce. This means that while Louisiana allows hemp edibles, the products must remain within the state to not trigger the jurisdiction of the federal FD&C Act.

Can You Buy Delta-8 THC in Louisiana? 

Delta-8 THC is available for sale in Louisiana at both brick-and-mortar retailers and online stores. While state law prevents the sale of products intended for inhalation, and limits serving sizes on edibles, reports indicate that this law is not well enforced. 

In fact, searching the consumable hemp products on the Department of Health website at time of writing still shows illegal delta-8 THC products.   

RELATED: The Best Delta-8 THC Brands, Reviewed

Delta-8 Alternatives You Can Legally Buy in Louisiana 

Like delta-8, delta-10, HHC and other hemp-derived delta-9 THC isomers are legal in Louisiana. This means the use, possession, sale, distribution and production of most delta-8 alternatives is permitted and allowed under state law.  

Age Restrictions

Delta-8 THC products can only be purchased by adults aged 21 or over, after the passage of HB 758. The only exception is for products containing less than 0.5 mg of total THC, which includes essentially no delta-8 THC products and can still only be sold to those aged 18 or over. 

Public Consumption Laws

Louisiana hemp law doesn’t say anything about using hemp in public, and so technically there is no restriction on where you can use hemp other than existing rules against public smoking. It’s probably not such a good idea to use in public, though. 

Smoking is banned in Louisiana in most indoor public places or workplaces, with exceptions for a small number of places like tobacco stores, bars and designated smoking rooms in hotels. Aside from this, there is technically no limitation on where you can consume delta-8 THC, and none of these would apply to edibles, for instance.

However, it’s likely that smoking delta-8 THC flower in public would be confused for smoking marijuana. Of course this doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong in a legal sense, but it would likely create issues for you anyway, especially if you were in – or even stood outside – a private business such as a bar.   

Driving Laws

You can’t drive under the influence of delta-8 THC in Louisiana.

The Louisiana law for operating a vehicle while intoxicated states that driving under the influence of “one or more drugs that are not controlled dangerous substances and that are legally obtainable with or without a prescription” is a crime. The law acknowledges an “affirmative defense” that you “did not knowingly consume” substantially more than “the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.” However, saying “I only took the dosage the edible manufacturer recommended” probably won’t be a great defense in court. 

In short, it is not legal to drive under the influence of delta-8 THC in Louisiana. Punishment in the first instance includes a fine of between $300 and $1,000, and between 10 days and six months in prison, with an option of being placed on probation (with conditions) instead. 

Traveling to Louisiana With Delta-8 Products

Delta-8 THC is generally considered to be legal at the federal level and in Louisiana, so you can travel to the state with Farm Bill compliant delta-8 THC.

Since the prevailing argument is that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized delta-8 THC at the federal level and the same argument applies to Louisiana state law, it’s totally fine to travel to the state with delta-8 THC derived from hemp. The Transport Security Administration (TSA) explicitly states this on their website. It’s a good idea to bring the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the product, though, so you can prove it complies with federal and local law. 

The Future for Delta-8 in Louisiana 

Louisiana lawmakers failed to pass two bills related to delta-8 THC in 2023, and the legislative session has now closed until March 2024. However, bills will likely be proposed again then. 

Two bills were being considered in 2023 that would have impacted delta-8 THC in Louisiana. Senate Bill (SB) 219 would have excluded basically all alternative intoxicating cannabinoids from the definition of hemp (page 2, line 18 – page 3, line 11/sections §1462.(10)(b) and (20)) and imposed a stricter limit on THC in legal hemp products (page 6, lines 28-29/section §1482.1.A(3)). HB 605 would have placed other limits on hemp products (page 3, line 22 – page 4, line 6/ section §1483.D(3)-(7)), such as not being marketed to children and not containing synthetically-derived THC. 

However, both of these bills failed to pass. It was a big point of discussion because lawmakers felt they had been “misled” by the 2022 bill (HB 758), which they were told did not allow intoxicating products. This dispute was ultimately not resolved, and so it will likely be brought up again when they reconvene in the next legislative session in March 2024.