Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Backed By House Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE (AP) — State Rep. Jack Montoucet wants to study the growing of industrial hemp. But first he had to persuade his colleagues he wasn't creating a path toward legalizing marijuana.

         Montoucet's proposal would allow public colleges or the Department of Agriculture to set up a pilot program to explore whether Louisiana should make growing industrial hemp available to farmers throughout Louisiana.

         If the pilot program is successful, Montoucet says he hopes the plant will become a way for farmers to make money in addition to their current crops.

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         But Times-Picayune’s Kevin Litten reports that some lawmakers worried the bill would have unintended consequences.

         After a lengthy debate, the House backed Montoucet's proposal in a 67-25 vote Tuesday, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

         For more information about House Bill 1085 click here

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