MONROE, LA. (02/24/2020)– Hemp has recently been legalized in the United States and Louisiana farmers are quickly making the switch.
“We have the opportunity to get in on the ground before Texas and other states surrounding us jump in,” Elizabeth Guerriero with Hemp on the Ouachita said.
Hemp has gotten a bad reputation. It’s categorized alongside marijuana because they are both parts of the cannabis family.
However, experts say the affects aren’t the same, because the THC and CBD levels are different. Guerriero says industrial hemp is a form of cannabis that produces a number of useful, everyday products.
“The fiber, they’re using it for plastic, for concrete, they’re using it to replace so many things. CBD is only one of many oils that can be extracted from the plant.”
Hemp also has a faster turnover than other crops and takes up less land.
“Hemp sells for so much more than any of the other crops,” Guerriero said. “It’s a three month cycle to grow. It uses a lot less water that any of the other crops, it’s environmentally more efficient and you can grow other crops around it.”
Guerriero says there are three aspects farmers should know before growing hemp.
“Knowing the seed and how to evaluate the seed you are purchasing, the growing concerns, and the third would be making sure you can sell it once you grow it,” Guerriero said.
Since it’s never been grown in the pelican state, there’s room for trial and error. Guerriero says knowing the facts can mean the difference between a successful crop or and expensive lesson.
“If your crop turns illegal and the percentage of THC is over the .03%, the whole crop has to be destroyed,” Guerriero said. “You lose everything, so you’re talking about a lot of time and money and investment and you get nothing because you didn’t know what you were doing and that’s not the way you want to learn.”