Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

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Illinois Senate Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

A bill to allow for the legal cultivation and production of industrial hemp has been given approval by Illinois’ full Senate.

Senate Bill 2298 was filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson along with a dozen other legislators. It was passed by the Senate last week in a unanimous 50 to 0 vote, with nine members abstaining. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives; passage in the House would send it to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act, the legislation would amend state law so that the legal definition of  cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp, and “Provides that “noxious weed” does not include industrial hemp”. The bill “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

The law “Provides that the application for a license shall include the name and address of the applicant and the legal description of the land area, including Global Positioning System coordinates, to be used to cultivate industrial hemp”, and “Provides that the Department may determine, by rule, the duration of a license and the requirements for license renewal.”

In addition, the proposal “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”, and “Makes conforming changes in the State Finance Act.”

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The full text of Senate Bill 2298 can be found by clicking here.

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