Springfield, IL: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law authorizing the state to license individual farmers to grow hemp for commercial purposes.
The new law, which took immediate effect, expands the state’s existing hemp program. Under the 2014 pilot program, only universities were permitted to produce hemp for research purposes. The new act allows “any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, company, society, [or] association” to apply for a hemp cultivation license.
“Legalizing the farming of industrial hemp just makes good sense,” the Governor said in a statement.
Over 40 states have enacted statutes distinguishing hemp from marijuana, and authorizing its licensed production. According to estimates provided by the advocacy group Vote Hemp, US farmers legally cultivated over 23,000 acres of hemp last year.
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit: Illinois NORML.