An industry group has formed to lobby lawmakers to support legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Louisiana.

Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association spokesman and lobbyist Jesse McCormick said he believes support for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is growing in Louisiana.

"There's been recent polls from LSU that indicate 79 percent of people are in favor of medicinal marijuana," McCormick said.

McCormick said while Louisiana citizens seem to support medical marijuana legalization, he's still unsure how lawmakers feel about it. He said he believes the support is there, but some legislators have a tough time with it.

McCormick said leaders across the nation are moving in the direction of favoring medicinal marijuana.

"Twenty-plus states are doing it, so I think it was time for Louisiana to at least start the conversation, start the debate, to see if we have the temperature to move forward on something like this," McCormick said.

McCormick said he believes that when Gov. Bobby Jindal said he was open to the idea of legalizing medical marijuana, it gave people confidence to get behind such legislation — although he said he recognizes there's skepticism.

"We live in a conservative state, and there is no intention to move to recreational legalization," said McCormick. "This is about doing a tightly regulated system where a doctor is a prescriber, and there is a patient in need."

The legalization measures are scheduled to come up for debate this week.