Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Hemp

Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Hemp

A hemp legalization bill has been given approval by Illinois’ full Senate.

Senate Bill 1294 was passed last week by the Senate, sending it to the House of Representatives; it currently sits in the House Rules Committee. Passage in the House would send it to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration. If signed into law by Rauner, or allowed to become law without his signature (he would also have the option of vetoing), it would be legal to farmers to grow industrial hemp – defined as having no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – if they first become licensed with the state.

According to the measure’s initial synopsis, it:

Creates the Industrial Hemp Act. Provides that any person desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, process, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture. Provides that the application for a license shall include the name and address of the applicant and the legal description of the land area to be used to grow or process industrial hemp and that the license shall be valid for a period of 5 years. Preempts home rule powers. Amends the Illinois Noxious Weed Law. Provides that “noxious weed” does not include industrial hemp. Amends the Cannabis Control Act. Provides that “cannabis” does not include industrial hemp.

For more information on Senate Bill 1294, including a look at its sponsors and the bill’s full text, click here.

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