Industrial hemp is defined as the plant Cannabis sativa and any part of the plant, including the seeds and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Therapeutic cannabis/medical marijuana, also classified as C. sativa, is defined as plants with THC concentrations greater than 0.3 percent and remain illegal in Louisiana except for the two licensed growers for therapeutic use (LSU AgCenter and SU University AgCenter).
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill, Section 10113) directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue regulations and guidance to implement a program for the commercial production of industrial hemp in the United States. USDA established Federal regulations that include specific guidelines for the submission of each State’s management plan. USDA approved Louisiana's industrial hemp state plan in December 2019.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is the state's regulatory authority for production, processing, and transportation of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp growers, processors, and transporters must have an annually approved license from LDAF prior to participation.
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is responsible for the regulation of industrial hemp-derived CBD products, manufacturing, packaging, and labeling. The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) is responsible for the regulation of CBD product sales, specifically retail permits.
The LSU AgCenter is authorized to cultivate, handle, and process industrial hemp and industrial hemp seeds for research and product development. Research began in the summer of 2019.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture