Have you been wondering what will ever become of the vacant Walmart Supercenter on the Nothside of Lafayette on Evangeline Thruway? Originally I just figured it would become some sort of other store, or maybe a rec center… Who would have guessed it might be Lafayette’s future industrial hemp factory? If funding is achieved for this project, then the facility will indeed be converted and used for the production of hemp.
I know what you’re thinking, “they’re gonna grow pot here?” No… this kind of Cannabis is not for medicinal or recreational use… Unless you consider making hemp bracelets recreation. If the project gets funding, the kind they will be growing there is specifically for the industrial uses to make various products, such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. The plant itself grows very fast, and was actually one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago.
If the sheer novelty of having a hemp factory in your town doesn’t excite you… this will. Do you know how many jobs this will create in Lafayette Parish? About 2,500. It is expected to generate about $216 million in revenue for the parish. Creating jobs will help our community rise and grow in a positive direction as it will help lessen the amount of unemployed persons. When unemployment is high, you have more crime usually, therefore creating such a large amount of jobs will, in theory, reduce crime.
If you feel negatively about the plant itself, here are some facts about the benefits of hemp seeds. Eating them does not make you high in any way, but are incredibly nutritious. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce PMS and menopause symptoms, and aid in digestion. It can also help skin disorders like eczema. So don’t worry, this possible development in upper Lafayette would be a great thing!