- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - 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.

But Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports (https://bit.ly/1QzhxWi ) that 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.

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House Bill 1085: www.legis.la.gov

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