Gonzales Representative Clay Schexnayder is proposing to legalize hemp production in Louisiana. Last year’s federal farm bill permits states to regulate and grow hemp if they so choose. He says the crop is a cash cow that is perfectly suited to the Louisiana climate, much like sugarcane.

“Its one of those crops that has hundreds and hundreds of different uses, from fiber, to building material, concrete, cooking oils.”

A hemp pilot program was launched in Kentucky in 2017, and it’s success was mentioned frequently as the feds contemplated allowing the plant to be regulated. Schexnayder says the program demonstrated just how profitable the plant could be.

“In 2017, since then the figures have almost doubled in their harvest. Almost 57 million in one year.”

According to PEW, 19 states harvested industrial hemp last year, but only 25,000 total acres.

But hemp is not without it’s detractors who have expressed concern about the plants genealogical links to marijuana. Schexnayder says it is true that the plant has some THC, but it’s really a completely different plant.

“The best way to describe it is you have a canine family, and on one end you have a wolf, and the other end you have a Chiuahua.”

Industrial hemp in many states is limited to .03 percent THC, a psychoactive substance. Recreational weed can have anywhere from 15 to 40 percent THC.