About 1,500 Louisiana businesses have been licensed by the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control Board to sell CBD under the state’s industrial hemp rules, the Advocate reports. The state Department of Agriculture and Forestry has also started licensing hemp farms for the 2020 growing season.
Businesses that have received licenses for CBD sales include pharmacies, chiropractic clinics, and gas stations, among others, the report says.
In Louisiana, there are four types of hemp licenses – cultivation, processing, seed production, and transport.
The first hemp cultivation license in the state was awarded to Nanette Noland, president of the agricultural investment firm Powell Group. The company plans on growing about 500 unobstructed acres and another 500 acres next to pine seedlings. The Powell Group has heavily invested in pine trees, which have turned into a money-loser, Noland said.
“So we have been looking to do something else with this acreage. After some investigation we decided hemp is the way to go.” – Noland, to the Advocate
The company also plans on opening laboratories to test soil and hemp leaves for farmers to ensure they are meeting the state’s strict requirements. Louisiana’s hemp program is just one of six state programs to receive final approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – a requirement under the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp federally.
Previously in Louisiana, CBD was considered a Schedule I controlled substance despite the federal reforms.