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"WE WILL BE BACK". That's how Senator Thomas Pressly ended the 2024 legislative session as he realized that the hemp industry had successfully blocked his attempt to BAN ALL HEMP PRODUCTS in Louisiana. Calling HB 952 the The "Lobbyist Protection Act", Sen Pressly expressed his disappointment in the legislation and was clearly not happy that his BAN EFFORT had failed. The senate voted 27-11 to accept the conference committee report.

On the house side, several representatives who had supported the BAN OF HEMP products asked questions of Rep Miller regarding the conference committee report. Rep Miller reported to his colleagues that neither the opponents of hemp or the hemp industry were happy with the recommendations. The house voted 72-30 to approve the conference committee report.

HB 952 now goes to the Governor for his signature. The ban on new restaurants and bars goes into effect June 17, 2024, the remainder of the law takes effect January 1, 2025. In summary, here are some of the key changes that will be made:

  • C-Stores that sell gasoline, except truck stops, will be prohibited from selling hemp products

  • No new bars and restaurants may be issued a hemp retail permit after June 17, 2024

  • Beverages will be limited to 5mg of THC per bottle or can

  • Tinctures will be limited to 1 milligram per serving and a 1 ounce bottle (about 30 servings)

  • Non-edible Creams and lotions will not be limited by servings or package size

  • All other products will be limited to 5mg of THC per serving, which must be distinct & separate and 40mg of THC per package

  • More testing will be required on hemp products

  • Applicants for hemp licenses will have to undergo an investigation and meet strict standards, no felons may receive a permit to sell hemp products.

Senator Pressly was not happy that the hemp industry opposed his efforts to BAN HEMP PRODUCTS. His calling the HB 952 the "Lobbyist Protection Act" expresses his disdain for public input by people seriously impacted by legislation, those who will no longer be able to sell products, those who would lose Millions of dollars of investments, and those who disagree with his "prohibitionist views".

The hemp industry is comprised of over 3,000 small businesses in Louisiana. Some of those businesses hired lobbyists to combat the BAN. Our Association hired one lobbyists to support the industry. Working together, hemp industry lobbyists spent countless hours talking with legislators and advocating on behalf of the industry. The Convenience store association lobbied against Sen Pressly's efforts, as did the farm bureau. Sen. Pressly seems to think there is something wrong when groups work together to protect themselves and their industry.

Sen Pressly didn't express any concern over the fact the Good Day Farms and Ilera, the two medical marijuana licensees in the state had their 16 registered lobbyists working to support his BAN BILL. Good Day Farms is one of the largest Medical Marijuana companies in the United States, a very big company. He didn't complain that the beer & alcohol industry lobbyists were active in attempting to take over the hemp industry.

But shame on small business owners whose living, and in some cases life savings, are in jeopardy. It seems to me that Sen Pressly isn't interested in listening to the concerns of small Louisiana business owners and is glad to accept the support of Big Businesses who want to wipe out small business and take over an industry.

As the day closed on this years legislative session, the Hemp Industry took a major blow that will seriously impact every company in the hemp business. 70% of the retailers will no longer be able to sell hemp products, products will be severely restricted, and manufacturers will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars redeveloping their products, changing packaging, and finding new outlets for products.

News outlets are reporting that the hemp industry feigned off a BAN, implying that the industry won the battle this year. Perhaps the industry did win, the complete BAN failed. It was a major fight and the industry suffered great losses. If we did win, the spoils of victory are very very small.

Our opponents told us that they have now "Declared War" against our industry. They are very upset that we managed to salvage parts of the industry. Sen Pressly confirmed their declaration of war with his simple statement " We Will Be Back". We must be prepared.

Between now and the next session in 2025, I encourage you to talk with your state representatives and state senators. If they voted with Sen Pressly, don't chastise them, be polite, attempt to explain the importance of hemp products. Explain to them that the hemp industry provides opportunities for small Louisiana businesses to grow. Explain to them that the industry and the products are highly regulated.

Remind them that hemp businesses are small businesses and that destroying the hemp industry only expands the control of the big marijuana companies, monopolies that want to control the cannabis industry. The two marijuana companies in Louisiana don't want to compete,. They want to control prices, and have little interest in allowing small entrepreneurs to do to what they do best, Build an Industry from scratch.

In closing, my response to Senator Pressly's promise to return is simple, We will still be here.


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04 jun

When do these new laws go into effect, January?

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04 jun
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the prohibition on new bars & restaurants takes effect on June 17, 2024. The rest of the law goes into effect on January 1, 2025

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