Brandon Fail, Director of Economic Development for the City of Shreveport, talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about a variety of possibilities to boost the local economy, including the industrial hemp industry.

Fail tells KEEL listeners that industrial hemp is "a cousin" of the marijuana plant, but contains only trace elements of THC and is grown for uses including paper, biodegradable plastics, health food and even fuel. Nonetheless, he adds, the growth is highly regulated and controlled in Louisiana by the state's Department of Agriculture.

Fail also points out that Shreveport and the surrounding area has a great deal of open land, currently unused for farming. Plus, he says, the climate is a perfect mix of temperature and humidity for the plant's growth and cultivation.