Regulations for Consumable Hemp Processors

Consumable hemp processors are regulated by the Louisiana Department of Health, and regulations and laws have recently been amended by ACT No. 498 so for the most update information and any other questions or concerns, please visit the Louisiana Department of Health website as well as familiarizing yourself with the most current laws. Processors should be aware of an important rule change made by ACT No. 498 regarding the distinction between ‘adult-use consumable hemp products’ and ‘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 and are required to have less than 0.3 percent delta-9-THC or a total THC concentration of less than 1%.

Processors must adhere to the Rules for Consumable Hemp Products set forth by LDH. Processors must have their products laboratory tested at an approved lab, to obtain a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that verifies the potency (< 8 mg per serving and < 0.3% delta-9-THC for adult-use consumable hemp; < 0.5 mg of delta-9-THC for consumable hemp products) and safety of the product for contamination by pathogens and other toxic substances. These regulations also detail the labeling requirements, which must include a variety of information, while also preventing making medical claims. ACT No. 498 also requires consumable hemp products containing more than 0.5 mg of total THC to be defined as adult-use consumable hemp products and to clearly state the amount of THC per serving, serving size, and servings per package. The application for registering a product also must verify that the product was produced from hemp by LDH.

Processors must follow the Basic Requirements for a Food Manufacturer for processing facilities and the Basic Requirements for a Food Storage Warehouse for storage and distribution of consumable hemp products. They are required to adhere to the Louisiana Sanitary Code, Title 51, Part VI.

As part of the permitting process, processors are required to submit multiple documents to LDH. A plans review questionnaire, a floor plan for the building, utility no-objection notice, a processing plan, a recall plan, and a distribution plan are all required by LDH prior to permitting. The plans will be reviewed, and deficiencies must be addressed. Afterwards, a pre-operational inspection must be passed prior to permitting.

These regulations are to ensure that the qualifications of people who manufacture and process industrial hemp into consumable hemp products are being met and that these facilities are adhering to good manufacturing practices to produce a product that is safe for consumption. It also sets out the proper ways to establish and maintain records in regards to consumable hemp processing.