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HB 952 Approved by Louisiana House of Representatives

Representative Duston Miller convinces Louisiana House of Representatives that the Hemp Industry needed more regulations to correct confusion and stabilize the Hemp Industry in Louisiana. After an hour of debate, multiple attempts to amend his bill, the house voted to approve HB 952 with a vote of 70 for, 28 against, and 7 members absent. Here is the vote on the house approval of HB 952:

24.4.23 House Vote On HB 952
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HB 952 as approved, prohibits the sale of hemp flower. Representative Travis Johnson offered an amendment that would remove the prohibition. Speaking on behalf of many industry proponents, Rep Miller argued that problems associated with hemp flower were due to people spraying the flower with other cannabinoids and that HB 952 would correct the problem. His peers didn't see it that way and voted down his amendment 59 to 41.

Representative Laurie Schlegel, Metairie, wants to ban all THC products, much like Senator Pressly (SB 237 recently approved by the Senate). Many returning house members felt they had been mislead when approving consumable hemp products and Rep Schlegel was one of them. Rep Schlegel was joined by Rep Polly Thomas & Rep Bryan Fontenot at the microphone, urging their colleagues to do away with consumable hemp products containing THC.

Representative Danny McCormick spoke against Rep Schlegel's amendment, making the point that the legislature cannot legislate behavior. He used alcohol as an example of how prohibition didn't work and how alcohol negatively impacts peoples lives. He made it clear that he is opposed to the use of alcohol, drugs, THC, and similar products. He also felt that attempting to ban THC products was not the solution.

He urged the legislature to increase the regulation of hemp products not ban them. In supporting Rep Miller's efforts to limit and control the proliferation of consumable hemp products, Rep McCormick asked fellow legislators to join him in opposing the "Ban Amendment" and support him and Rep Miller in correcting loopholes in current law. He was effective in explaining to legislators that people will get these and other products and that it was impossible to regulate morality.

Here is the house vote on Rep Schlegel's amendment:

24.4.23 Vote on Schlegal Amendment
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The atmosphere in the house chamber was intense. Everyone was paying attention and understood the importance of the vote they were about to cast. Would they Ban THC products and destroy a growing industry or would they put controls in place that would restrain and control types of products that could be sold, who could buy them, and how they would be sold.

At the end of the day, Rep Miller's efforts were rewarded with approval of HB 952. To some extent, the house seemed relieved that they had passed reform regulations for the hemp industry, something they couldn't get done in 2023. Here is HB 952 as approved by the House of Representatives:

24.4.23 HB 952 REENGROSSED as amended on house floor and passed
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Rep Schlegel and Rep Fontenot pledged "not to leave the Capital" until they banned THC products. SB 237 by Pressly was approved by the Senate on Monday. Rep Schlegel & Rep Fontenot will have another chance to convince their peers to ban THC products as SB 237 moves through the house for consideration.

HB 952 now moves to the Louisiana Senate for consideration. Considering that Sen Pressly's SB 237 passed the senate with a 27-9 vote on Monday, it is expected that HB 952 will get a lot of scrutiny from Senators. It remains to be seen whether Rep Miller will be able to convince the Senate that regulation is better than prohibition.

We urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support HB 952. Click on the link below to have a pre-written email sent to them. Alternatively you can compose your own message to your elected officials. All you have to do is enter your name and address. The software will look up your officials and automatically email them your message.

You can watch the house action by clicking on the link below. Go to the 2:45 mark on the video for the debate on HB 952

The Hemp Association of Louisiana will continue to monitor all of the hemp bills being considered this year and update you as these bills are set for hearings. To receive notices when articles are published, click on the Join Now button above and become a subscriber.

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Thanks for what you are doing. Morality policing doesn't work, as stated by Rep McCormick and Mr. Football's take is absurd (parenting isn't the job of the LA Legislature).

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