Cajun Cannabis owner Travis DeYoung said he plans to re-open his business and continue advocating for the health benefits of CBD products after being released from jail.
In a statement, DeYoung thanked God, his fiancée, family and supporters for backing him.
“I was fully aware of the risks and I take full responsibility for my actions,” DeYoung said. “Eventually as people, elected officials and law enforcement are informed and educated about the healing effects of CBD oil, this issue will go away as being controversial.”
DeYoung bonded out of Lafayette Parish Jail on Monday evening after his bond was reduced from $322,000 to $97,000. DeYoung spent the weekend in jail after his vehicle was searched during a traffic stop and his recently opened CBD shop was swept by police Wednesday.
Cajun Cannabis owner Travis DeYoung posted bond and was released from jail Monday after he spent the weekend in jail following his arrest and …
DeYoung was booked on 17 counts Thursday, including felony possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances and multiple drug counts.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It's typically extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis distinct from marijuana because it's low in THC, the chemical in cannabis that gets users high.
DeYoung’s arrest stemmed from differences in state and federal law on the issue.
Hemp is genetically distinct from marijuana according to the Congressional Research Service and has no more than 0.3 percent THC. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill opened the door for hemp-derived CBD to be removed from the federal controlled dangerous substances list because of the legal distinction.
Louisiana regulatory authorities, though, contend that the sale of CBD products, even hemp-derived CBD, is illegal. The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control said that products containing even zero percent THC are illegal.
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DeYoung’s Johnston Street storefront stocked CBD oil, CBD-infused gummies and other edibles, CBD lotion, candles and bath products.
He said CBD is a natural healing substance and he’s willing to fight for it as a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals.
“Morally and ethically, pioneering the legal distribution of federally legal products proven to help people with crippling disabilities is worth the risk,” he said.
DeYoung’s attorney Michael Domingue said his client plans to re-open his business in the next week. Cajun Cannabis will offer T-shirts and other apparel, journals and paper made from hemp. No CBD oils or other products will be on sale for the time being, he said.
Domingue said they plan to work with the city-parish and law enforcement to get CBD products like oils, edibles and lotions back into the store. He said he believes the law surrounding CBD distribution is unclear and he plans to argue for his client’s right to sell the products.
“If we can’t put it on the store shelf, why can Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and others put it on their shelves?” Domingue questioned.
Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber said his office is “100 percent confident” the products seized from DeYoung’s store are considered Schedule 1 narcotics and are illegal under state law. He said undercover agents purchased products from DeYoung’s store and they tested positive for THC.
DeYoung contests that, saying his products had zero percent THC.
Cajun Cannabis opened its doors Saturday to dozens of customers interested in its products, defying what the owners say were pressures from st…
“Contrary to what you’ve heard or read, there’s absolutely no illegal products or marijuana being sold in the store. Not one person was harmed in the operation of this business,” DeYoung said.
Domingue said DeYoung contracted with a lab facility to test each of his products for THC content and the lab results confirmed his client’s assertion. He also said he’s received numerous offers from testing companies and cannabis experts to re-test DeYoung’s products free of charge, or to testify on his behalf as the case proceeds through court.
He said his client is currently awaiting an arraignment date.
In a statement Tuesday, the Lafayette Sheriff’s Office said they understand the importance of protecting the well-being of everyone in Lafayette Parish and will work to preserve residents’ safety.
The department has faced public outcry that they unfairly targeted DeYoung and his business, but Garber called the claims “absurd.”
“From start to finish, the sheriff’s office conducted a thorough and thoughtful investigation. This case directly followed the path laid out by Louisiana state law, and the obligations of our law enforcement agency,” the statement said.
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