Another Louisiana College Gets Greenlight to Research Hemp, Marijuana
There are now three Louisiana colleges that are allowed to do research on marijuana and hemp.
The University of Louisiana-Monroe's School of Pharmacy joined the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center in being legally allowed to conduct research on marijuana and hemp.
House Bill 697, legislation State Rep. Michael Echols sponsored during the state Legislature's recently concluded session. Echols says that ULM being allowed to do this research was made possible by that bill.
“Louisiana State University and Southern University have been the only two schools in the state that can do research around hemp and marijuana but not anymore,” Echols said. “We were able to add to some of the bills flowing through the process to give ULM the opportunity to do some of that strategic research.”
A Step in the Right Direction
“The endgame is to try and work with researchers at ULM College of Pharmacy to build a number of facilities to enhance what we have at the school of pharmacy facility with biomedical developments,” said Susan Nicholson, a BRIP board member.
Nicholson indicated that research on hemp and marijuana is ramping up nationwide.
“There are too many positive potential usages in various drug protocols to pass up,” she said. “The discoveries that are being made in hemp and marijuana research about its uses and proven medical benefits are too great not to move forward.”
What Can Hemp Be Used For?
Dr. Ray Armstrong, another BRIP board member, said that there is another company, that he refused to name at this time, that is considering performing research on the processing of hemp fiber to create innovative materials.
“It would look at the things that are in demand and one of those things would be the hemp fiber for animal bedding,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong also indicated that hemp is a very diverse material, referring to “hempcrete” or “hemplime” that is “even stronger and lighter than concrete.” He also pointed to creating carbon sheets from hemp for battery conductivity.
Hemp and Marijuana Research Guidelines
Of course, gaining access to these types of research comes with regulations and guidelines. However, Armstrong doesn't see those are a problem.
Essentially, the bill that was passed states that universities conducting marijuana research will come under the oversight of the state.
“The contractor selected by the licensed university through a competitive bid process to cultivate, extract, process, produce and transport therapeutic marijuana shall be subject to oversight and inspections by the Louisiana Department of Health,” according to the bill.
Hopefully this is a step in the right direction when it comes to hemp and marijuana laws in Louisiana.