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Industrial Hemp

Louisiana Industrial Hemp Program

hemp greenhouse

As a result of Act 164 of the 2018 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session, industrial hemp is recognized as a legal agricultural commodity, thereby legalizing the production, and processing of industrial hemp in Louisiana. Subsequently, on Dec. 23, 2019, Louisiana’s state industrial hemp plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is authorized to license and regulate the production and handling, as well as the processing of ‘non-consumable’ industrial hemp in Louisiana. The LDAF is accepting license applications to produce and handle, as well as process for ‘non-consumable’ industrial hemp. Please continue to monitor this website for updated information on the status of the program and for additional information on how to become a licensed producer, handler, or processor of industrial hemp.

NOTICE: As a result of Act 336 of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is no longer authorized to license or regulate processors of ‘consumable’ hemp as defined by R.S. 3:1481.  Anyone interested in processing consumable hemp should contact the Louisiana Department of Health at (225) 342-7533.  

NOTICE: If you are on our industrial hemp email list, please check your spam folder regularly. We are aware that some emails are going to the recipient’s spam folder.


USDA Announces Hemp Crop Insurance Available for 2020

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2019 — Certain industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program for crop year 2020. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced coverage for hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds, which will be available to producers who are in areas covered by USDA-approved hemp plans or who are part of approved state or university research pilot programs. Read the full USDA press release here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Industrial Hemp?

According to state and federal law, “Industrial Hemp” includes all plant parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis and any part of the plant cultivated or possessed by an industrial hemp licensee, with a total THC concentration level of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Q. Can I grow medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana is not industrial hemp. The medical marijuana program is administered by a separate LDAF program.  For information on the medical marijuana program call 225-922-1243.

Q. What is the federally defined limit for THC?

Federal law requires THC to be measured post-decarboxylation.  Post-decarboxylation is the conversion of delta-9 THC-a into delta-9 THC with heat.  This is commonly referred to as Total THC.  The federally defined limit for THC is no more than 0.3% Total THC.

Q. Is it currently legal to grow Industrial Hemp in Louisiana?

Yes, it is currently legal to grow Industrial Hemp in Louisiana as long as you possess a current industrial hemp license through LDAF.

Q. What is the role of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) with Industrial Hemp?

The LDAF is granted authority to regulate the  production, handling, as well processing of ‘non-consumable’  industrial hemp in Louisiana through LA R.S. 3:1461et. seq.

Q. Does the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) regulate the processing of ‘consumable’ industrial hemp in Louisiana?

No, the LDAF only licenses and regulates the processing of ‘non-consumable’ hemp, such fiber, seed and other industrial hemp uses.

Q. Which agency regulates the processing of ‘consumable’ hemp in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Department of Health regulates processing of any product derived from industrial hemp that contains any cannabinoid, including cannabidiol and is intended for consumption or topical use.

Q. I am interested in growing industrial hemp. What are the first steps?

The first step is to visit the LDAF industrial hemp website to review the Industrial Hemp law and regulations, and view the license-specific orientation videos. You should check with local ordinances to make sure you will not be prohibited from participating in the program.  Refer to the universities and other sources for information on hemp best management practices.

Q. Where can I find a copy of the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Law?

A copy of the Industrial Hemp Law can be accessed HERE.

Q. Who approves and issues the licenses for the program?

Industrial Hemp licenses are issued through the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Industrial Hemp Program.

Q. Who may obtain a license to grow, handle or process industrial hemp?

Any person who applies and meets all requirements of Louisiana’s Industrial Hemp Law and regulations.

Q. What is the procedure to apply for a license?

All potential applicants should refer to the LDAF website for license applications. Applicants should complete and submit the Industrial Hemp application with all required information shown on last page of application, along with background check to LDAF.

Q. Will the LDAF conduct Laboratory Testing?

Yes,  LDAF will sample and test, or have tested, all industrial hemp to determine THC concentration level prior to harvest.

Q. What are the requirements to obtain an industrial hemp license?

Refer to Section 1465 of the Industrial Hemp Law for information on licensing requirements.  Additional licensing information can be found in the Industrial Hemp regulations.

Q. Who do I contact for more information concerning the industrial hemp program?

Interested persons should contact the LDAF Industrial Hemp Program staff by phone at 225-925-4863 or by email.

Q. Is there a limitation to the number of licenses that Louisiana will issue?

No, all applicants meeting licensing requirements under Section 1465 and pursuant regulations of the Industrial Hemp Law may obtain an Industrial Hemp License.

Q. Is there a minimum number of production acres required to be a licensed hemp grower?

No, the Louisiana Industrial Hemp Act does not require a minimum acreage.

Q. Can I grow industrial hemp plants in my backyard garden?

Yes, providing that you are properly licensed; the plant material meets the definition of industrial hemp, and the plant material is being produced in compliance with the requirements of the Industrial Hemp Law and pursuant regulations.

Q. What type of industrial hemp license do I need?

The Law authorizes four separate industrial hemp licenses.  1) Grower License – authorizes the licensee to cultivate industrial hemp regardless of the intended use; 2) Processor License – authorizes the licensee to process ‘non-consumable’ industrial hemp; 3) Seed Producer – authorizes the licensee to produce, transport and sell industrial hemp seed; 4)  Handler – authorizes the licensee to transport, commercially harvest, clean and package hemp seed, broker and test industrial hemp.

Q. Does Louisiana have an application deadline?

Louisiana does not have an application deadline for the industrial hemp program, however, license renewals are due by November 30 of each year

Q. Are there any pesticides approved for use on industrial hemp?

Yes, in addition to the 25b “Minimum Risk” products, EPA has recently approved adding hemp to the use sites of 10 pesticides. These approved pesticides can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Q. What are the requirements for Industrial Hemp Consultants?

All Industrial Hemp Consultants must comply with the LDAF Pesticide & Environmental Programs regulations including approval by the Advisory Commission on Pesticides and successful completion of exams.  https://www.ldaf.state.la.us/ldaf-programs/pesticide-environmental-programs/pesticide-forms-and-registrations/

Q. What is the procedure for a State Background Check?

A Louisiana fingerprint-based background check (Right To Review) through the Louisiana State Police (both of the below forms filled out completely and a set of completed fingerprint cards) and required payment need to be submitted to LSP so the state background check can be completed.  A local law enforcement agency from another state can fingerprint the applicant needing the set of fingerprint cards that will be submitted as part of the set of fingerprint cards that will be submitted as part of their packet for the Louisiana purposes.  This process will give the applicant their Louisiana Criminal History Only.

The state background check will need to be submitted as part of the application packet for the applicant, business designated responsible party and all key participants. Choose the links below to access the forms.

http://www.lsp.org/pdf/Right_to_Review_Authorization.pdf

http://www.lsp.org/pdf/Right_to_Review_Disclosure.pdf

Q. What is the procedure for a Federal Background Check?

Request Fingerprint cards (Form FD-258) from LSP.  Visit the FBI Identity History Summary Checks website. Applicants should choose Option 1 or 3 (do not choose option 2) to complete the background check. Applicant will receive the background check report electronically or by mail, depending on the requested reporting method. The report must be submitted to LDAF with the license application.

Q. I am applying for multiple licenses. Am I required to submit separate state and federal background checks with each application?

No, applicants for multiple licenses are only required to provide one state and federal background check report, so long as the background check was performed within 60 days of the  date the application is received by LDAF.

Q. Are holders of a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) eligible for Industrial Hemp Licenses?

Yes, holders of Permanent Resident Cards are eligible for all industrial hemp licenses so long as all other license requirements are met.

Q. Where do I purchase hemp seeds or propagating stock?

LDAF maintains a list of licensed hemp seed providers on our website.  Seed and propagating stock acquisition is not limited to this list. The list is comprised of companies and individuals that have expressed interest in providing seed and propagating stock, and are licensed to do so in Louisiana. LDAF does not endorse any provider of seed or propagating stock.

Q. Before I bring hemp seed or propagating stock into Louisiana. What is the required procedure?

All out-of-state hemp seed or propagating stock must be approved by LDAF prior to bringing into Louisiana.  A Seed Acquisition Request Form, along with a COA showing the THC concentration level on the parent material for all requests is required.  In addition, for true seed requests a copy of the seed label and accompanying seed lab report of analysis must be submitted for review.

Q. LDAF requires a third-party laboratory “Certificate of Analysis (COA)” for THC concentration level of the parent material of all industrial hemp seed or propagating stock being shipped into Louisiana. As a purchaser, what should I look for on my COA to determine if the tests and testing laboratory is legitimate?

A COA from a legitimate laboratory will contain the laboratory contact information as well as test results and other information.  They should also have accreditation or affiliation with a federal or private national organization, such as ISO or DEA.  Individuals may refer to the list of DEA registered laboratories found on the USDA website.   Additionally, LDAF staff will review each COA submitted with the Seed Acquisition Request Form for legitimacy.

Q. I have a problem with seed or propagating stock that I purchased, what should I do?

For “true seed” related problems, contact the LDAF Seed Programs Division at 225-925-4733 or by Email.  For problems related to propagating stock, contact the LDAF Horticulture & Quarantine Division at 225-952-8100.

Q. I want to market and sell a CBD product. What are the requirements?

All CBD product labels must be approved through Louisiana Department of Health.  They can be reached at (225)  342-7533.  Businesses or individuals interested in selling CBD products must be registered through the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.  They can be reached at (225) 925-4018.

Q. Can I sell my harvested hemp to a processor in another state?

Yes, as long as the harvested material is compliant, and you sell to a licensed processor in that state.

Q. How is THC measured in Louisiana?

Hemp samples are evaluated as Total THC in Louisiana.  This means that the values for THC and THCa (adjusted for molecular weight conversion) are added together.  Final answers are subject to a further adjustment for uncertainty to determine if the legal definition of hemp has been met.  The uncertainty value used in Louisiana is 0.104%.    Hemp samples are dried, sieved to remove stems and seeds and then ground into a homogenous powder.  Moisture in the ground sample is analyzed in an automated halogen moisture analyzer and the Total THC answer is mathematically adjusted to represent the foliage at 12% moisture.  The homogenous sample is extracted using methanol and analyzed by HPLC-UV technology which chemically separates and quantitates the THC and THCa.

Industrial Hemp Law Industrial Hemp Rules & Regulations Applications Reports and Forms Supplemental Forms Additional Resources

Grower & Seed Producer Orientation

Processor Orientation

USDA Options for Hemp Factsheet 

USDA – Establishing Farm Serial Number

LSU AgCenter

USDA FSA information on establishing industrial hemp lots as per the USDA requirements

USDA DEA Registered Labs