Industrial Hemp in Louisiana

With different agencies regulating separate aspects of industrial hemp in Louisiana, it can be difficult to navigate the industrial hemp industry. Because the difference between hemp and marijuana is based solely on the percentage of THC in the plant, the industrial hemp industry is tightly regulated. There are three regulatory agencies that are responsible for guiding the industrial hemp industry from seed to sale: the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

Most recently, the 2022 Louisiana legislative session passed two new Acts regarding industrial hemp in Louisiana: ACT No. 462 authored by Representative Travis Johnson and ACT No. 498 authored by Representative Clay Schnexnayder.  ACT No. 462 provides direction relative to the formation of the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Promotion and Research Program and Advisory Board which aims to "support the growth and development of the industrial hemp industry in Louisiana by enhancing research, education, promotion, facilities, and industrial hemp related activities" in Louisiana. ACT No. 498 amends current laws regarding industrial hemp in Louisiana, specifically changing some rules regarding the regulation of industrial hemp, industrial hemp testing, and some changes regarding consumable hemp products.

The LSU AgCenter, SU AgCenter and ULM College of Pharmacy have partnered with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, and the Louisiana Department of Revenue to develop this centralized website in the aim of helping both new and experienced members of the industrial hemp industry. Please visit the other pages of the centralized hemp website to learn more about industrial hemp in Louisiana. While it aims to help navigate the industrial hemp industry in Louisiana, the laws and rules often change and may become out of date. This highlights the need for people in the industrial hemp business to stay current on the changing laws and regulations and to understand that the sole responsibility of legally growing, producing, and selling hemp products falls upon the individual. Failure to comply could lead to the destruction of crops or products.

Seeds and Growers

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) oversees many aspects of industrial hemp in Louisiana. A seed producer license is required for anyone wanting to produce, transport and sell industrial hemp seed or immature plants from clones. A grower’s license can also be obtained from LDAF for licensees to be able to cultivate, harvest, handle, transport and sell industrial hemp. Growers will be working closely with LDAF, submitting multiple planting reports and scheduling tests to ensure the safety, quality, and legality of their crop. For more information, please visit the LDAF website and the Rules and Regulations page for Growers and Seed Producers. A separate handler license is also available for someone looking to transport, deliver, commercially harvest, clean, package, broker, or test hemp.

Hemp Processing and Labeling

After the cultivation of hemp, hemp can be processed into other products. These products fall into one of two categories: Non-Consumable Hemp or Consumable Hemp Products. Non-Consumable Hemp Products are anything derived from industrial hemp that does not contain any cannabinoids and are not intended for consumption or topical application. Consumable Hemp Products are intended for human consumption or topical application and can contain CBD and other phytocannabinoids. Consumable hemp products are further divided into two separate categories: adult-use consumable hemp products are any product containing more than 0.5 mg of total THC per package (as well as remaining under 8 mg per serving), while consumable hemp products contain less than 0.5 mg of total THC per package. Both adult-use consumable hemp products must maintain a delta-9-THC concentration of less than 0.3%.

LDAF is responsible for issuing the Non-Consumable Hemp Processors license to people looking to produce non-consumable products for sale. Visit the LDAF website and the Non-Consumable Hemp Processors Rules and Regulations page for more information.

Consumable hemp processing is regulated by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and that entity issues permits that allow for processing, handling, storage, and sale of consumable hemp products at wholesale (to other processors or distributors or retail dealers). Consumable hemp products must also be lab tested to ensure safety and legality by an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory. Testing includes five categories of contaminants, residues, or properties of the products tested: cannabinoid profile, presticides, solvents, microbials, and heavy metals.

LDH does not issue permits to retail dealers of consumable hemp products or out-of-state manufacturers or distributors.

Additionally, LDH is responsible for label registration and approval which is a requirement before the sale of all consumable hemp products. The labels must contain a variety of information to be approved. For more information on permitting, registration, or Consumable Hemp Processor rules, visit the LDH website which contains applications and portals for label submission.

Hemp Retailers

Once a product has been processed, the final step is selling the tested and labeled product to the consumer which requires a permit issued by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). The ATC issues multiple types of permits. A Consumable Hemp Retail Dealer permit allows for sale at a physical storefront. A Consumable Hemp Remote Seller Permit allows for the sale and shipping of consumable hemp products via the internet. A Consumable Hemp Wholesaler permit allows for the sale and distribution of consumable hemp products to licensed hemp retailers. There is also a Special Event permit that allows the licensee to sell at special events. Visit the ATC website and the Retail Rules and Regulations page for more information.

Hemp retailers are subject to a 3% excise tax. Please visit the Louisiana Department of Revenue website for more information.









Frequently Asked Questions

Rules and Regulations

Overview of the legal requirements for hemp cultivation, production and processing.

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Obtaining Licenses

How to apply for the different types of licenses required to work with hemp in Louisiana.

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Sampling and Testing

Learn about the required testing to ensure that the hemp is safe and compliant.

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Resources

Information and education about hemp grown in Louisiana.

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