Illinois bill would legalize sale, production of hemp
Senate Bill 1294 creates the Industrial Hemp Act, which would require licensing for “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.”
A bill in the Illinois General Assembly would legalize the production and sale of hemp.
Senate Bill 1294 creates the Industrial Hemp Act, which would require licensing for 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, according to the legislation’s synopsis. The bill would also legally distinguish industrial hemp from “noxious weed” and cannabis.
Hemp is a fiber derived from the cannabis plant but contains less than 1 percent THC, the chemical responsible for getting people “high.” Hemp has a wide variety of uses, most commonly for medicinal items when processed into CBD, but also for more standard products such as clothing and rope.
Because hemp is a cannabis-based product, its legality is confusing and sometimes inconsistent. Federal law prohibits the possession or consumption of cannabis-related products, which would include hemp. Despite this statute, 29 states permit medicinal marijuana and eight have legalized it for both recreational and medicinal production. Illinois has decriminalized recreational marijuana consumption and legalized medicinal usage.
The medicinal marijuana industry in Illinois favors SB 1294, as its legalization and regulation may require cannabis to undergo the same testing standards as medicinal marijuana.