Legislation to legalize hemp has been advanced by Louisiana’s House of Representatives, reports the Associated Press.
The measure, which was filed by Representative Clay Schexnayder (R), would legalize growing and processing of industrial hemp in Louisiana, in line with what’s allowed under the 2018 federal Farm Bill for the relative of the marijuana plant. On Thursday it was passed by the House Agriculture Committee.
As noted by the AP, “hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but contains only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a high for marijuana users. Hemp is used for textiles, fuels, rope and chemical absorbents, among other products.”
Congressional research shows that hemp is used to make at least 25,000 various products.
Representative Schexnayder said hemp production would help Louisiana’s struggling farmers and create new jobs. He described the measure as an economic development tool.
“The idea is to grow and take advantage of a crop we haven’t been growing since 1938,” said Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, who helped craft the legislation and would have regulatory authority over the program.
Growing hemp for individual use would be prohibited under the bill.
Representative Dustin Miller (D) questioned the level of regulatory