Louisiana Supreme Court to hear arguments against life sentence over $30 weed sale

The Louisiana Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on behalf of a military veteran sentenced to life in prison for selling $30 of weed.

Derek Harris sold handed an undercover law enforcement officer who knocked on his Abbeville, La. door in 2008 exactly 0.69 grams of cannabis. Thanks to the efforts of a zealous Vermilion Parish prosecutor and Louisiana’s habitual-offender law, the transaction landed Harris a life sentence in prison with no chance of parole.


USDA Approves First State Hemp Plans

Three state hemp plans have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture so far – and what’s surprising is the state that isn’t among them.

State and tribal hemp production plans that are pending approval or have been approved can be found here. Last updated on December 27, the states to get a green light at this point are Louisiana, New Jersey and Ohio.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain welcomed the approval.


Louisiana readying the rules for industrial hemp farming

With industrial hemp promoted as a new cash crop for struggling farmers, Louisiana's agriculture department is fast-tracking the regulations for the newly legal commodity, with the first grower licenses expected to win approval in February.

Interested farmers are packing orientation sessions to learn about the lengthy paperwork, licensing, testing and reporting requirements the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry is enacting to govern industrial hemp production in Louisiana, under a program overwhelmingly backed by lawmakers earlier this year.


Medical marijuana in Louisiana: Questions about cost arise

Three months after medical marijuana became available in Louisiana, doctors and clinics say some patients are finding the cost for therapeutic cannabis too high for treatment, pricing them out of a medication they waited years to obtain.

Nine pharmacies dispense medicinal-grade pot and set their individual prices. Dispensary owners say their charges reflect an industry with startup charges, small patient numbers and lengthy regulatory hurdles to meet.


Louisiana moving forward with industrial hemp program

Louisiana officials hope the federal government will approve the state’s industrial hemp program by Jan. 1 so they can begin issuing licenses.

If all goes according to plan, Louisiana farmers will begin planting the new crop this spring.

Though the federal government is not expected to issue its rules until next month, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has crafted the basic framework based on what they expect the feds will want.

“Almost all states are following a similar pathway,” LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain said Monday to a legislative agriculture committee. “I know there’s a full-court press [by the federal government] to get this done.”


Louisiana industrial hemp program progress

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) announced late last week it has submitted rules and regulations for the state’s industrial hemp program with the State Register’s office.

Louisiana was among a handful of remaining hemp holdout states until Governor John Bel Edwards signed off on HB491 in June this year, which became Act No. 164. Since that time, progress towards seeing the first crops sown legally in the state for decades has been swift.


Agriculture hemp one step closer to reality for Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) filed rules and regulations with the State Register's office on Thursday for the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Program, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.

"Our staff worked diligently to complete and file the industrial hemp administrative rules and regulations," Strain. "Our goal is to have everything in place and licenses issued in time for the 2020 planting season. While there are additional steps that must be completed before the production of industrial hemp in Louisiana is authorized, I remain confident that we are on track to meet our goal."


Synthetic marijuana found in CBD products across multiple States

CBD edibles and vapes spiked with a variety of synthetic marijuana compounds have found their way to consumers in Louisiana, Maryland and nearly a dozen other states, according to a nationwide Associated Press investigation into unregulated cannabidiol products. Synthetic marijuana, often marketed as K2 or Spice, has been linked to mass hospitalizations and other health emergencies across the U.S. and Europe.


After one month, how are Louisiana’s medical marijuana patients doing?

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When medical marijuana became available on Aug. 6, Alex Domino said he had no expectations. For him, the medicine was simply a remedy for a myriad of serious ailments that he had not tried.

One month later, 70-year-old Domino says marijuana has changed his outlook on life.

“Hey man, I can make 94 now,” he chuckled. “I don’t have to work as hard to keep myself calm.”

Domino was the first patient to receive medical marijuana in Louisiana. He complained then about sleepless nights and anxiety, both lingering side effects from his bout with serious colon cancer.


Louisiana medical cannabis program 5,000 strong so far

Louisiana pharmacies aren’t reporting marijuana shortages or other problems two weeks after patients began receiving the drug for medical use.

Those were the reports Monday from state regulatory officials at a meeting to update therapeutic cannabis supporters about the progress of Louisiana’s program.

John Davis is the leader of GB Sciences Louisiana, one of two state-sanctioned medical marijuana growers. Davis told the panel Louisiana has about 5,000 medical marijuana patients so far.

Louisiana became the first Deep South state to dispense medical marijuana on Aug. 6, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to therapeutic cannabis.


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