Louisiana May Have Authorized THC Goods by Accident, The Government Has Decided to Crack Down!
John Williams, the leading beer lobbyist in Louisiana, emailed all of the state’s lawmakers in November with the ominous subject line “Recreational THC is now legal in Louisiana.”
Photos of gas stations and smoke shops promoting items containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient present in marijuana, were widely disseminated after House Speaker Clay Schexnayder pushed through legislation to establish a legal hemp business in the state.
Williams, who opposed the hemp law, wrote in a follow-up email that the companies selling THC-containing goods operate under a “looser set of rules” than those governing the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Hemp is related to marijuana but contains far lower concentrations of psychotropic compounds, so the attempt to loosen the regulations on it was initially billed as a strategy to promote hemp as an agricultural commodity.
An “adult-use” market for hemp food items was established, however, thanks to Schexnayder’s legislation in 2022. Schexnayder assured his colleague’s lawmakers that his bill would not allow easy access to intoxicating substances, a major concern for those who are against legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
However, as can be seen from trips to even a small fraction of the nearly 2,500 registered CBD businesses that have sprung up in Louisiana, things haven’t gone according to Schexnayder’s plan. Adults can get their hands on gummies and other substances with greater ease than ever before.
The main reason for this is the presence of Delta 8 THC in the products, a component of the cannabis plant that is somewhat different from the Delta 9 THC often associated with marijuana.
The Widespread Availability of Cannabis-Related Products in Louisiana Stores Reflects the State’s Muddled Position on The Drug. Although Possessing Marijuana Is Technically Illegal, It Has Been Decriminalised to The Point Where It Is Now on Par with Receiving a Traffic Ticket.
As A Result of The State’s Medicinal Marijuana Programme, However, Acquiring Marijuana Is Now a Simple Legal Process, Albeit an Expensive One. However, the Market for Thc Generated from Hemp Has Exploded, and Its Prices Are Much Lower than Those of Medical Medicines.
On Friday at A Meeting of The State’s Drug Policy Board, Officials Gave Many Explanations for The Sudden Proliferation of Easy Access to Drugs. Some Products Exploit Legal Grey Areas, While Others Actively Break the Law. Overworked Authorities Are Responsible for Determining Which Is Which. the Board, Which Has Always Opposed Recreational Marijuana, Voted to Urge Lawmakers to Overturn a Statute that Legalised Hemp Edibles for Adults.
The Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control in Louisiana, Which Has Around 35 Enforcement Agents Monitoring Over 10,000 Booze and Cigarette Dealers, Sent a Memo Promising to Crack Down by The End of January.
Shops Were Ordered to Remove Signage Advertising “legal Thc Goods” After the Agency Announced Plans for “active Enforcement of Marijuana Legislation” Due to A “increased Threat to Public Safety.”
In an Interview, Atc Director Ernest Legier Noted, “Ninety Percent of Our Purveyors Are Trying to Do the Right Thing.” Some Shops and Distributors Are Leveraging Loopholes to Sell Psychoactive Thc-Containing Items to The General Population. That’s Certainly Not What Cbd Manufacturers Had in Mind.
The Sheer Number of Illegal Goods “makes It Very, Very Tough to Maintain Public Safety,” He Said on Friday.
Gonzales Republican Schexnayder, Who Will Become Speaker of The House in 2020 After Serving as Its Agriculture Committee Chair, Has Shepherded the Rules Permitting Consumable Hemp Products and Guaranteed that They Would Not Be Utilised for Recreational Purposes.
He said “absolutely” when Rep. Polly Thomas (r-Metairie) Asked if It Was True that Individuals Couldn’t Get High from The Items. to Get High, He Claimed, You’d Need “tractor-Trailer Loads” of The Compounds Extracted from Hemp.
As It Turns Out, All It Takes Is a Couple of Gummies.
Schexnayder Has Tried to Shift Blame for The Issue onto The Louisiana Department of Health, Which Is Responsible for Approving Product Labels. at A Recent Legislative Session, the Agency’s Chief Lawyer, Stephen Russo, Explained that The Agency Unintentionally Accepted Vapes Despite the Fact that They Are Not Permitted and That the Agency Just Wrote an Emergency Rule to Tighten up On the Matter.
Schexnayder Said in A Statement that The Louisiana Department of Health Must Immediately Cease Licencing Goods with High Quantities of Thc if They Are Doing so Because of A “perceived Loophole” or “nuanced Phrasing” in The Bill.
Schexnayder Noted That, During the Upcoming Session, the Legislature Will Look Into Any Potential Problems with The Measure.
History of How We Arrived Where We Are
Schexnayder’s Most Current Hemp Measure Contains a Provision Whose Wording May Provide Light on How Intoxicating Substances Made It onto Store Shelves in Louisiana.
Three Consecutive Years of Legislation Sponsored by Schexnayder Set Various Caps on Thc. Delta 9 Thc Levels in Hemp Cannot Go Beyond 0.3%, Overall Thc Levels, Including Delta 8 and Others, Cannot Go Above 1%, and No One Serving of A Consumable Hemp Product May Contain More than 8 Milligrammes of Thc.
Experts and State Officials Agree that The 8 Mg Level Set Last Year Can Get People High. Retailers May Stock Goods Like Tincture Bottles with 100 Mg of Delta 8 Thc, However, the Normal Dosage Size Recommended Is 5 or 8 Mg.
Officials on Both the State and Local Levels Have Reported Feeling Overwhelmed by The Laws. on Friday, Opinions Diverged as To Whether or Not Delta 8 Was Actually Legitimate.
The prosecutor in Jefferson Parish Has Stated that Delta 8 Cannot Be Used as Evidence in Court, While Atc Commissioner Legier Has Stated that His Agency Is Now of The Opinion that Delta 8 Falls Under the Recreational Marijuana Prohibition Because of Its Intoxicating Effects.
Legier and Others Have Pointed out That the Sheer Number of Such Items Makes It Unlikely that They Can All Be Removed from Sale, Hence It Has Been Recommended that The Tax Money Collected from Them Be Used to Educate Young People on The Risks of Drug Use.
It’s True that In Some Sections of Louisiana, Delta 8 Has Been on Shelves Long Before the 2022 Law Took Effect. Cannabis, According to Researcher Joseph Jones, First Appeared at The North Louisiana Criminalistics Lab in Early 2021. According to Google Trends, Curiosity About Delta 8 in Louisiana Peaked in Late 2021.
On Friday, Jones Told the Assembled Officials, “it’s the Dose that Makes the Poison, and How You Administer It.” He Cited Studies Demonstrating that Delta 8 Thc Is Just Slightly Less Potent than The Delta 9 Present in Marijuana.
The State Should Subject Hemp-Derived Thc Products to The Same Laws and Testing as Medical Marijuana, According to Kevin Caldwell, Southeast Legislative Manager for The Marijuana Policy Project, Which Promotes Legalised Recreational Marijuana.
It’s Been Proven Time and Time Again that Prohibition Fails. It Is More Important to Us that These Items Be Governed to Ensure Their Safety for Consumers.
Republicans in The Legislature Have Been Resistant to The Idea of Legalising Recreational Marijuana Usage, Despite the fact that Legislators in 19 Other States Have Already Done So. Legislators and The Drug’s Most Formidable Opponents, Law Enforcement Groups, Have Both Acknowledged that The Drug Will Eventually Be Decriminalised.
Meanwhile, Those Who Are Against Legalising Recreational Marijuana Are Beginning to See It Everywhere from Convenience Stores to Vape Shops Across Louisiana.
“it Looks Like It Would Practically Be Difficult to Govern and Control It,” Edward Carlson, Director of The Odyssey House, A Drug Rehabilitation Centre in New Orleans, said at A Board Meeting on Friday.