BATON ROUGE, La. (The Advocate) — Louisiana has started handing out its first licenses to farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Lawmakers legalized the crop last year in a bid to start a new agricultural industry in the state. The prospect of hemp as a new crop has excited farmers in Louisiana.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but contains only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a high for marijuana users.

Louisiana's hemp legalization came after Congress' 2018 Farm Bill removed the crop from the list of federally controlled substances.

It also coincides with the increasing popularity of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant that is often extracted from hemp.

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