The Illinois House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 1397 by a 67-47 vote on Tuesday to study the potential for growing industrial hemp in the state. The bill passed through the Senate last spring and is now awaiting the approval of Gov. George Ryan (R).
The legislation calls for the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University to grow hemp to determine its potential as a statewide cash crop.
Rep. Charles Hartke, (D-Teutopolis), compared growing hemp to the once-exotic soybean, now a mainstay for Illinois farmers.
"It has potential," Hartke said. "To get to that potential, we have to do a lot of research and study."
"Illinois will hopefully be joining Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland and California as states who are willingly bucking the federal government's ban on industrial hemp," said Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director. "Industrial hemp has a long history as a successful and useful cash crop."
For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500.