Governor John Bel Edwards recently legalized the industrial hemp industry in the state of Louisiana, making the sale of CBD legal.
A Louisiana native has been at the forefront of this developing industry. Her products are now being sold across the state and here in Acadiana.
When Kristie Hebert, founder of Cypress Hemp, was a freshman at LSU she was hit by a drunk driver while walking on the side of the road.
“I was run over seven times which left me with a completely shattered pelvis and unable to walk. I was only 18 at the time so you can imagine mentally this was really hard but physically as well. I ended up in a wheelchair for over a year and had to quit school,” says Hebert.
While her body recovered Hebert had a morphine pump and was taking opioids.
Little did she know that she had an opioid intolerance which almost lead her to needing a feeding tube.
She says, “Through my research while I was in the hospital I was able to discover CBD. At the time Hemp was not even being legally grown in America and so the more I learn about him and CBD the more I became infatuated. I learned that there was no potential for abuse overdose or addiction so I truly became passionate about this because I saw it as the best holistic alternative for myself. Modern medicine is incredible, it is the reason I am walking around today but now my passion is truly to show people that there are alternatives.”
After recovering from the accident, Hebert changed her major to biological engineering and worked for the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation.
She was part of a team that constructed the first hempcrete home in America.
In 2017, Hebert started her own company called Cypress Hemp.
From growing the hemp plant to designing the company’s logo Hebert has had a hand in it all.
This year she stood with her partner Blake by Governor John Bell Edwards as he signed house bill for 491, legalizing the industrial hemp industry and sale of CBD in the state.
By joining the 30 other states that have already adopted him growing programs, Louisiana farmers hope to introduce another moneymaking crop to the state.
BDS Analytics the data partner for the National Cannabis Industry predicts US sales of CBD products to surge from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2024.
That’s not factoring in the many other ways a hemp plant can be used.
“This legislative session we’ve been able to educate people on the industrial applications as well as CBD so now Hemp has been federally legalized as an agricultural commodity and so we are so excited that Louisiana was able to recognize that federal legalization,” says Hebert.
The ATC will regulate all CBD products in the state. Labels on products will be required to either have a QR code or a website that links back to laboratory results that show you what is in your product.
Cypress Hemp is currently growing their crops in Virginia and hope to move their farm down south soon.