The Illinois House approved a resolution yesterday allowing university researchers to study the economic viability of industrial hemp. The Senate had already approved a similar resolution, S.R. 49, on March 23, 1999.
"Hemp is a profitable economic crop in Western Europe and Canada," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "There is no doubt that this study will find it potentially profitable for Illinois farmers as well."
House Resolution 168 authorizes a 13-member task force to investigate hemp's economic potential as a cash crop, and identify legal obstacles to production. The committee will report its findings to the Legislature by January 1, 2000.
A handful of Legislatures have approved state-sponsored hemp research studies since 1996. The most recent study, prepared by North Dakota State University, estimates that hemp could yield profits as high as $141 per acre to farmers. North Dakota became the first state to legalize domestic hemp production last month.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or NORML board member Don Wirtshafter of The Ohio Hempery @ (740) 662-4367. To download a copy of the Illinois resolutions, please visit: www.legis.state.il.us/.