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Louisiana’s Hemp Law: Budding New Business

Kristy Hebert was just 18 years old when she was hit by a drunk driver, shattering her world.

She had to re-learn how to walk. It was a process especially hard for a teenager who had never so much as taken an Advil.

“It was really hard for me to recover having a morphine pump, also these opioids being prescribed to me, so I truly started to look for more holistic alternatives for both my mental and physical health, so this is when I discovered hemp-derived CBD,” Hebert says.

That’s what inspired Hebert to create Cypress Hemp and to work with lawmakers like Rep. Clay Schexnayder, who are looking for ways to regulate hemp.

“My envision of it was to be able to give our farmers another tool in the box to be able to help supplement some of their crops that they’re struggling with and that our country is struggling with right now,” he says.

House Bill 491 authorizes industrial hemp farming and lays out how it should be regulated. Legislation like this is growing in popularity, but Schexnayder says some people are put off by any product that comes from cannabis.

“For many, many years, hemp was put in the category of marijuana, and I hate saying the two words together,” the representative says.

“Although they are both cannabis, hemp does not get you high. There’s a minuscule level of THC at a .3 percent and below level that can be contained in hemp. So no matter what, there’s no psychoactive properties,” Hebert explains.

“These two plants are in the same family, and I always use this description: They’re in the same family just like canines are,” Rep. Schexnayder continues. “You have a wolf and you have a chihuahua. They’re both in the canine family, one’s a little more vicious than the other.”

The law aims to bring in more business opportunities – and dollars – across Louisiana.

“Whether it’s an acre or 5,000 acres, whether it’s a one-person operation or a 20-person operation, anybody has the opportunity to take this and make it a business and create an income for themselves,” Rep. Schexnayder says.

The hemp industry brought in $1.1 billion in revenue last year. New Frontier Data estimates that number to skyrocket to $2.6 billion just in the next three years.

“It just goes to show you that this a legitimized industry and people are recognizing that there’s no potential for abuse, addiction or overdose and with the opioid crisis happening, this truly is something that people are standing behind,” Hebert says. “Even people you would never expect.”

The bill was signed into law by the governor. The representative says it’s in effect now, but it’ll likely be next year before you see it in action.

 

To read the law in full: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1143697

To discover more about Cypress Hemp: https://www.cypresshemp.com/

To learn more about hemp’s business impact: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/24/newly-legalized-hemp-industry-set-to-create-a-jobs-boom-in-the-us.html