Industrial hemp is a plant from the Cannabaceae family, with the scientific name of Cannabis sativa L. It is botanically the same plant as marijuana but has a federally defined legal limit of 0.3% delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight. THC is the psychoactive chemical, and the limit reduces the likelihood of industrial hemp being consumed recreationally. Industrial hemp is used to produce a wide range of commercial products, which includes but is not limited to fabric, fiber, food, plastics, and fuels.
ACT No. 498 provides a new classification of hemp products that the Louisiana hemp industry should be aware of: adult-use consumable hemp products. Adult-use consumable hemp products are any product containing more than 0.5 mg of total THC per package, while consumable hemp products contain less than 0.5 mg of total THC per package. The total THC (including delta variants) amount must remain under 8 mg per serving for adult-use consumable hemp products, while maintaining the delta-9-THC concentration limit of 0.3% by dry weight.
Consumable hemp products are defined as any product that is intended for consumption or topical use that contains any cannabinoid and contain less than 0.5 mg of total THC. Consumable hemp products are required to have less than 0.3 percent delta-9-THC or a total THC concentration of less than 1%.
As of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is federally legal to work with hemp in Louisiana, as long as you have the appropriate license. There are six different licenses that can be obtained in Louisiana. Depending on what you plan to do with hemp, you will need to apply and be approved for a specific license. The different licenses are for grower, seed producer, consumable hemp processor, non-consumable hemp processor, handler, and retailers. For more information, please visit the Licenses page.
The only approved pesticides for industrial hemp are 25b minimum risk products (and one conventional pesticide). There are 59 total approved pesticides, which can be found listed on the EPA website.
Any product derived from industrial hemp that does not contain any cannabinoid, including cannabidiol, and is not intended for consumption or topical use.
The first step is to visit the LDAF industrial hemp website and review the Industrial Hemp Law and regulations. You should check with local ordinances to ensure you will not be prohibited from participating in the program. Refer to the universities and other sources for information on hemp best management practices.
Medical marijuana is not industrial hemp. They differ based on the amount of THC produced by the plant with industrial hemp having a total THC by dry weight of less than 0.3%. Anything above that is not considered industrial hemp and is illegal to grow except as allowed under Louisiana's Medical Marijuana Program.
The medical marijuana program is administered by the Louisiana Department of Health. For information on the medical marijuana program visit the LDH Medical Marijuana website or call 225-342-7533.
The LDAF is granted authority to license and regulate the production, handling, and processing of non-consumable industrial hemp in Louisiana through LA R.S. 3:1461 et. seq.
Applicants for each license issued by LDAF must undergo both state and federal criminal history background checks. No person shall be eligible to obtain a license if the person was convicted of a felony within 10 years, or a drug-related misdemeanor within two years of the date of application.
All Industrial Hemp Consultants must comply with the LDAF Pesticide & Environmental Programs regulations including approval by the Advisory Commission on Pesticides and successful completion of exams.