Simply CBD brings legal cannabis products to New Orleans (sponsored)
Tucked into a shopping area at the corner of North Carrollton Avenue and Bienville Street, the Simply CBD: Cannabis Dispensary in Mid-City provides a sophisticated dispensary experience. Decorated in shades of white, with artfully displayed products, it’s like entering a fashionable boutique in New York or Paris.
Well-informed and friendly employees guide customers through the range of legal cannabis products the New Orleans store offers. Many of these products contain the cannabis-derived compounds cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the psychoactive compound that famously produces the intoxicating effects of cannabis. “Many customers come into our shop looking for marijuana,” says general manager Collin Avrard. “Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Louisiana, so these customers used to leave disappointed. But now we can offer a potent, satisfying and totally legal alternative: THC derived from hemp rather than from marijuana.”
Since starting as one of the first New Orleans businesses to offer hemp products, Simply CBD has expanded to three locations. Simply CBD debuted at 4507 Magazine St., near Napoleon Avenue, and then as demand for cannabis grew, opened a flagship store in Mid-City and another Simply CBD at 2268 St. Claude Ave. in Faubourg Marigny.
Today, Simply CBD offers much more than simply CBD. Most notably, the dispensary has expanded its product selection to include quite a few THC products that are federally legal as well as registered with the Louisiana Department of Health.
Molecularly, Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are almost identical, with users of Delta-8 THC reporting similar effects to Delta-9 THC, including relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief. But Delta-8 THC is only two-thirds as potent as Delta-9 THC, causing milder psychoactive effects.
Louisiana cannabis laws
To align state laws with federal laws, in 2019 Louisiana passed House Bill 491, which legalized industrial hemp, and components of industrial hemp, including derivatives, cannabinoids, extracts, isomers, acids, and salts.
In 2021, Louisiana passed House Bill 640, which elevated the earlier law by enabling the sale of regulated THC products throughout the state. While the law prohibited selling products that can be smoked, and recreational marijuana remains illegal in Louisiana, it cleared the way for consumable hemp products like edibles, tinctures, and topicals.
Because of this, even though recreational marijuana is illegal in the state, there are still legal THC products in New Orleans. Both legal and technological advancements have made hemp-derived THC products possible.
Although HB 640 went into effect in August 2021, it has taken a while for the newly legal products to be registered and reach shelves. “People are just now hearing about this,” Avrard says. “You can tell how excited people are to learn about legal THC.”
Louisiana regulates cannabis products
While some states responded to the hemp-derived THC phenomenon by banning the cannabinoid, Louisiana recognized the importance of making THC accessible, regulating it instead. The state mandates full-panel testing, detailed product labeling and age restrictions, among other requirements.
State regulators and other industry professionals believe that this will increase product safety and quality. Avrard explains that because of the state law, “we don’t sell cannabis products for smoking, so gummies and other edible products have become insanely popular.”
“We carry THC gummies ranging from 5 milligrams to 25 milligrams of THC per gummy,” adds manager Jeffrey Wells. “We also offer products with different ratios of THC to CBD so that customers can find the right balance for achieving the effects they want.”
For example, Mixed Berry gummies from Cypress Hemp contain 5 milligrams of THC and 15 milligrams of CBD, while Canna Moons from New Orleans-based Crescent Canna contain 12 milligrams of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD, what Avrard calls “cruising altitude. It doesn’t make you sleepy.”
Crescent Canna has become a local favorite for its high-potency CBD products, including fast-acting CBD topicals and the strongest CBD oil in the world, and legal THC edibles that are third-party lab-tested and registered with the Louisiana Department of Health.
In late 2021, Crescent Canna, along with Baton Rouge-based Cypress Hemp, became the first companies to officially register THC products in Louisiana.
New federally legal THC products
Recently, Simply CBD joined their ranks with its own brand of hemp-derived THC gummies. In fact, the strongest and most cost-effective THC products available at Simply CBD shops are its house brand of THC edibles. The pink lemonade and strawberry flavors contain 25 milligrams of Delta-9 THC per gummy.
“These gummies are quite strong and produce a relaxing euphoria,” Avrard says. “If you’re new to edibles, we recommend starting with half a gummy.”
Simply CBD is dedicated to supporting the local community and helping New Orleanians learn more about legal THC, CBD, and other cannabis products. Avrard explained: “At Simply CBD, we believe in the wellness power of cannabis, and we hear amazing stories from our customers every day.”
Simply CBD – Mid-City
231 N. Carrollton Ave., Suite A2
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Simply CBD – Uptown
4507 Magazine St., Suite A
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Simply CBD – Marigny
2268 St. Claude Ave., Suite B
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.