Recreational Cannabis Bill Not Dead In Louisiana Legislature

Lawmakers essentially sent the bill to the House’s criminal justice committee

The House’s judiciary committee did not approve or kill a bill that would allow for recreational marijuana use in Louisiana. Instead, lawmakers essentially sent it to the House’s criminal justice committee, where the concept faces opposition.

Baton Rouge Democrat Rep. Edmond Jordan’s bill would allow the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) to distribute 15 industrial marijuana growing permits. Those growing companies would have to pay a $100,000 annual permit fee, meet strict facility guidelines, and pass extensive background checks. The permitted companies would send their final product to LDAF for testing. If approved, the growers would sell their product to dispensaries in parishes where voters agreed to allow marijuana sales.

The dispensaries could not sell to anyone under 21 or online. Transactions would be limited to one ounce per calendar day.

“We want to be ahead of the curve,” Jordan said. “We don’t want to be lagging in this, we want to be leading.”

Jordan spoke of marijuana decriminalization as an eventual inevitability, referencing President Donald Trump’s occasional support for the idea. Trump already signed a farm bill that loosened restrictions on CBD, which comes from the cannabis plant.

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