Springfield, IL: Democrat Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation into law last week authorizing state universities to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes.
The measure, House Bill 5085, mandates the state Department of Agriculture to adopt rules so that higher education facilities can develop pilot programs involving the cultivation of cannabis plants containing no more than .03 percent THC.
The new law takes effect in January.
To date, more than a dozen states have enacted similar laws redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and authorizing state-sponsored research and/or cultivation of the crop. Six states - Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah - adopted similar measures this year.
For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Illinois NORML at: http://illinoisnorml.org/ilnorml/.