Well that didn’t take very long. Within days of Rep. Clay Schexnayder’s hemp legalization bill passing the state senate, the CBD industry in Louisiana is growing exponentially. Although tightly regulated, growing hemp is now legal in Louisiana. Hemp lacks enough THC to create a high like marijuana.
Hemp can be used in alternative fuels, textile products, and many other alternative economical products. Speaking on the utility of the bill, Rep. Schexnayder offered that hemp would become a potential boon for farmers.
“When our farmers are having a down year, they’ll be able to grow a crop that will be successful.”
Throughout the state, businesses offering CBD and hemp products are springing up rapidly. Many are celebrating the bill passing as a huge economic boost.
With this law, however, come a few catches.
One being that agriculture commissioner Mike Strain will wield overly broad regulatory power over the entire industry. While the prospects of having a new cash crop have many farmers salivating, almost all of us have reservations about big government interference in private business. The program will inevitably need to be finely regulated to fall in line with federal standards. The issue is separating the necessary regulation from overbearing, anti-business regulation, something a state with a history of overregulating things as innocuous as hairbraiding and floristry might not be well-poised to avoid.
Time will tell how this all plays out, but we may not have to wait too long. Entrepeneurs are flocking to the state, mainly New Orleans, in light of the new hemp laws. As the territory remains uncharted, private businesses will continue to push the boundaries of both state and federal regulations.
Strain will have a full plate when dealing with this. All in all, there’s no reason to rush into rewriting hemp regulations. Louisiana is going to have to do something very difficult: uphold only the most basic federal regulations on hemp and not over-tax the new industry. Sound too good to be true? Probably is, but we’re all along for the ride.