LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Hemp farmers have an exploding crop in the state, but it doesn’t mean the industry isn’t without issues.
“We have folks who want to diversify the ways that we are utilizing industrial hemp,” said pepper Roussel, participant.
“How do we take those two cannabis products and bring them to the forefront of our community and remove the stigma from around the plant of cannabis,” said John Ford, CEO, Black Farmers Hemp. He says in Louisiana, 80 individuals are licensed to grow hemp. About 40 of them are active growers. “We have about 15 to 20 of those 40s. That’s actually growing here in Southwest Louisiana in Acadiana,” said Ford.
Hemp can offer many different products, but people say the prices are high. “Right now, the people who need it can’t get it because they can’t afford triple the prices,” said Shane Paxton, Zorrillo cannabis grower.
“You got a very climate-friendly crop. Extremely one of the top climate-friendly crops has been grown here in Louisiana, and there’s a lot of possibilities that can be done with a climate-friendly crop,” said Gary Cross, Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator, Louisiana Agricultural & Forestry.
The Louisiana State Representative Travis Johnson says all are welcome to join the cannabis industry. “It’s a very new process. It’s in its infancy stage, so as we permeate more rules, we will make sure we’re being fair and open to making sure other small businesses are able to benefit,” said Travis C. Johnson, District 21.
“Anybody that wants to grow, we have procedures you have to do to go through it, and we have fees we have processes that you have to go through to grow,” said Cross.