Cajun Cannabis opened shop last week in Lafayette, Louisiana as a permitted CBD retailer, selling hemp derived CBD products
One week after opening Cajun Cannabis, owner Travis DeYoung was detained in what cops are calling a routine traffic stop. Following the traffic stop arrest, Lafayette Parish Sheriffs Department issued a search warrant for Cajun Cannabis, seizing CBD oil, CBD infused edibles, and two handguns from the storefront and DeYoung’s truck.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriffs Department claim that the arrest was not targeted.
Prior to the traffic stop, undercover agents of the Lafayette Parish Sheriffs Department allegedly purchased products from Cajun Cannabis and had them tested for THC. Sheriff Mark Garber said that the CBD products tested positive for THC, though the LPSD has not released the levels of THC present in the products.
Hemp, which is used to create CBD products, is legally defined as containing less than .3% THC. Hemp is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Those are listed as schedule one narcotics and under Louisiana state law, they fall under the purview of contraband and shall be seized by a peace officer,” Sheriff Garber told KATC.
According to the Acadiana Advocate, DeYoung faces 17 charges including “felony counts for possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile and the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana.”
Aversion to Cannabis is Deep Rooted in the Deep South
A resident of a neighboring Parish of Lafayette explains that they believe that local law enforcements distaste for cannabis is in large part due to a hidden agenda. The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, believes that local law enforcement is against the legalization of cannabis.
“The opening of a CBD company here is a shift in the paradigm of how people in Louisiana view and use cannabis and hemp. I think that law enforcement doesn’t want it to be normalized because they profit from putting black people away for cannabis,” said the Louisiana resident.
The resident explained that Louisiana’s black population is disproportionately targeted for cannabis crimes, much like most states in the US. The resident added, “If cannabis were legal, they wouldn’t be able to take these people off of the streets and put them in prisons.”
In fact, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In 2016, black adults comprised only 30.6% of Louisiana’s adult population, yet they also accounted for 67.5% of adults in prison. In certain areas of the southern state, racial disparities amongst cannabis related crimes are huge. Black people in Baton Rouge are six times more likely to be arrested for marijuana crimes than white people, according to a report by the SPLC.
According to NORML, black and white people in Louisiana consume cannabis at roughly the same rate.
Cajun Cannabis released the following statement on their Instagram:
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We will not give up on hemp-derived CBD and we will continue to educate the benefits of Cannabidiol. Our community is hurting from cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, seizures, opioid addiction, inflammation, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, glaucoma, muscle spasms, chronic pain, insomnia, loss of appetite and so many others. Help us by showing your support and share our go fund me and consider donating. Any contribution big or small will help us fight for what is right. We currently have hemp laws being passed in Baton Rouge, get on the phones or write to your state representatives. Educate and explain what our community wants. As pioneers, we need the support of all of you. We can’t thank y’all enough for all the love and support. We hear what y’all want. Your testimonies are fueling us. Let’s stick together! https://www.gofundme.com/cajun-cannabis-hemp-outlet-legal-expenses&rcid=r01-155629944473-5d77f22d51de4dc2&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m #cajuncannabis #cajuncbd #cajunhemp #cannabis #cbd #hemp #alternativewellness #holistichealing #shopleauxcal #lafayette
Lafayette community members are complaining that DeYoung and his business have been unfairly targeted by local law enforcement. Garber claims that the Sheriff’s Department was merely responding to complaints.
While Cajun Cannabis and Travis DeYoung were being apprehended, Louisiana state legislators took a step towards allowing hemp and CBD in the state. On April 25th, Louisiana legislators advanced the hemp bill without objection.
Louisiana lawmakers believe that hemp could be the state’s next cash crop. Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R) said industrial hemp would aid farmers by giving them “another tool in their belt,” and that hemp could boost the state’s economy.
Bail was posted at $322,000 for Travis DeYoung. A GoFundMe is setup to help pay for DeYoung’s legal expenses.
Cajun Cannabis has been contacted for comment, to date of publication, no comment has been received.