top of page
  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LT&C

Senate bill aimed at banning THC from all consumable hemp products could be a big blow for businesses

Several businesses banking on cannabis sales are furious about a state senate bill that threatens to end the sale of THC products altogether.

Senate Bill 237, if passed, would be a big blow for businesses like Crescent Canna selling THC products; it would clean the shelves of several emerging stores, prohibiting them from selling some of their most popular products.

“It’s difficult to continue to try to build businesses in Louisiana when the rug can get pulled under you at any moment. We’ve invested millions of dollars in this space, and we stand to potentially lose everything as a result of short-sided legislators,” Joe Gerrity said.

Right now, stores can sell products containing up to 8 milligrams of THC per serving. The proposed law would prohibit consumable hemp products from containing any THC at all, eliminating hemp-derived drinks and THC gummies and snacks.

“We’re seeing kids in particular get these products and I think it’s our duty and responsibility as legislators to ensure safety. I’m very concerned about that, and this is a starting point of a negotiation and a discussion,” said Sen. Thomas Pressly, (R) Shreveport.

Joe Gerrity, CEO of Crescent Canna, said his product is sold in at least 400 locations across the state.

“The consequences of this will be a loss of jobs, a loss of tax revenue, and in the hemp industry that means that early childhood education will have less funding. And it means that consumers who have shown time and time again they want to use cannabis products will be forced to purchase them on the black market or online from businesses that are not complying with Louisiana laws and have no real way of being enforced by the state,” Gerrity said.

Paige Melancon serves as the president of both Louisiana Hemp Extractorsand the Louisiana Hemp Association.

“We’ve had to deal with changes every year with this industry,” Melancon said.

He said the bill would eliminate approximately 99.7% of their products.

“It’s an attack on small businesses is what this is really,” said Melancon. “I really think the state is in a perfect opportunity to be the Silicon Valley of the Hemp Industry... I think the state’s missing out.”

According to the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control, nearly 1,400 retailers, including traditional and remote sellers, have permits to sell consumable hemp products statewide, and 110 entities hold a wholesale permit.

Supporters of the bill have expressed concerns over selling the products at gas stations and convenient stores, how under-regulated they believe THC is, and the potency of the products containing multiple servings.

“We’re eager to work with the state to find a middle ground that allows for our products to remain legal. Perhaps that means increased testing. Perhaps that means increased taxes. We’re open to working with them and we’re hoping for compromise with what we hope to be reasonable legislators,” Gerrity said.

The bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee in March and now heads to the full Senate. If signed into law, it will take effect August 1, 2024.


Top Stories

bottom of page