BATON ROUGE — University agriculture centers might soon be able to start growing marijuana and its plant cousin, hemp, for industrial and medicinal purposes.
House Agriculture Committee approved two bills to the House floor Tuesday related to the currently illegal plants in the cannabis family. They would make it legal for universities to research the use of the fiber from the hemp plant for uses in textiles and other industries and growing marijuana for medical uses.
Historically hemp was used for sailing, clothing and rope, but since it is a member, like marijuana, of the cannabis plant family it was also made illegal. There were times in the nation’s history that hemp was smoked as a mild narcotic. HB1085 was sponsored Rep. Jack Montoucet, R-Crowley.
The second bill, HB1099, by Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, would legalize and set up a system for the production and distribution of medical marijuana. The bill allows LSU Ag Center and the Southern University Ag Center to have the first rights to grow marijuana. [Read more at the Monroe News Star]