Industrial hemp pilot program backed by House lawmakers
BATON ROUGE - 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.
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.