April 17, 2023 - Updated April 17, 2023
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The Louisiana health department has been allowing 200-plus intoxicating hemp products that violate state law to be marketed and sold, according to a recent audit.
Under Louisiana state law, hemp products are limited to no more than 8 milligrams of THC per serving and no more than 1% THC by total concentration.
Products meant to be inhaled, such as vaporizer pens, are not allowed.
But as of March, 36 of the 2,564 registered consumable hemp products sold in the state were “prohibited” vape pens, according to a Louisiana Legislative Auditor report.
Another 198 edible products registered for sale in the state exceed the 8-millligram limit on THC, the report found.
And more offending products might be on store shelves, the auditor noted in the report.
The revelations come amid a national conversation over intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids, which lawmakers in many states have targeted for increased regulation and enforcement.
Several states have moved to severely restrict or ban outright products containing delta-8 THC or other novel cannabinoids.
Louisiana took a different approach, attempting to regulate rather than ban.
The state health department claimed that “staffing issues” – including constant turnover as well as too few employees – “have affected its ability” to enforce state law.
According to the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, state officials have also blamed the hemp industry for figuring out ways to thwart state law.
Last month, Louisiana’s Republican house speaker, Clay Schexnayde, blasted the health department for failing to identify and punish violators.