Six Shreveport-Bossier stores were among the first 20 businesses to be issued permits to sell legal CBD products in Louisiana and the only ones in northern Louisiana.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued the first permits a few weeks after the state’s new laws on hemp and CBD went on the books.
No permits have been issued yet in Alexandria, Lafayette or Monroe.
Almost one-third of the first permits were issued in northwestern Louisiana to Thrifty Liquor stores in Shreveport and Bossier.
Five of the Thrifty Liquor stores are in Shreveport and one is located in Bossier City.
A total of 20 temporary permits were issued. They will expire early next year when permanent regulations are set.
“ATC employees have worked diligently to process the influx of CBD applications in just a short amount of time,” ATC Commissioner Juana Marine-Lombard said. “The agency is ready to provide the necessary support for this new industry in Louisiana.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Act 164 into law June 6.
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It authorizes the sale of hemp-derived CBD products with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent.
The new law prohibits the processing or sale of hemp for inhalation and the sale of any alcoholic beverage containing CBD. Food products and beverages containing CBD are also banned unless the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves CBD as a food additive.
Though CBD is found in the cannabis plant it doesn’t get users high.
But CBD advocates believe it can provide health benefits.
Louisiana farmers will be able to grow the crop once the federal government approves state regulations being created by Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1