By Anthony Martinelli

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law legislation that legalizes hemp; the measure takes effect immediately.

Governor Rauner’s signature on Senate Bill 2298 comes roughly three months after it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 106 to 3; a month prior it was given unanimous approval by the Senate, 50 to 0.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Act and filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson, the legislation amends state law so that the legal definition of cannabis doesn’t include industrial hemp. It “Provides that a person desiring to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.”

“Legalizing the farming of industrial hemp just makes good sense,” said Governor Rauner in a statement. “Roughly 38 states — including our neighbors in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee — have allowed or are considering allowing cultivation of this crop for commercial, research or pilot programs. Our farmers should have this option as well.”

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

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