BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) — Roughly two months after Louisiana regulators began granting permits for CBD sales, the state’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control hints that demand for documentation remains high.
A total of 601 applicants have received permits to sell the hemp-based products since June, ATC officials told BRProud.com. Another 240 applications are either pending or have yet to be processed.
Permitted CBD sellers tout the products’ anti-inflammatory properties.
“If somebody has pain, somebody is going through something, and they need a clean remedy that has little to no side effects, CBD is the perfect option for them,” said Al Ishriat, who owns Cali Smoke Shop on Nicholson Dr. near Tigerland. “The options are a lot better with CBD.”
But stores have limits on the kinds of CBD products they can sell. Most foods and beverages with CBD cannot be sold, nor can smokable products. The items must have a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent.
“People really want the edibles and CBD vapes, but we can’t sell that,” said Mutaz Abusada, who owns O’Zone Vape Shop on Government St..
The debate over expanding CBD availability could resurface with a new roster of legislators in 2020, after the Class of 2019 voted to regulate the products. Ishriat said Louisiana’s surge of CBD applicants shows an interest for the years to come.
“One day, you’re going to see everybody with CBD, all the corner stores,” he said.
The permits currently awarded are set to expire in February. State regulators plan to issue permanent ones within the year.