Finalized hemp rules are right around the corner!

On February 5, the Illinois Department of Agriculture hosted a public hearing to give hopeful hemp cultivators, processors, and other stakeholders a platform to voice their concerns, suggestions, and praises for the proposed industrial hemp rules and regulations. Many of our members attended the hearing and either spoke directly to the Department or submitted comments of their own. 

(Photo: Industrial Hemp Listserv members: The Alliance organized a networking meeting after the hearing to discuss industrial hemp processing and cooperative opportunities in Illinois)

With the help of the Stewardship Alliance’s Industrial Hemp Google Listserv, we sought out feedback from members on the proposed rules. We then summarized the feedback received and developed comments, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

The comment period ended on February 11; the Department has another 45 days to make corrections to the rules, marking March 28 as the 45th day. The Department voiced that they are confident that farmers will be able to plant this growing season. Our members are waiting with anticipation for the finalized rules so that they can begin the application process. We assume that shortly after the rules are posted the online application form for hemp cultivators, processors, and handlers will go live.

Interested in applying, but unsure of the process? You are in luck! The Alliance will roll out our free, downloadable guide for navigating the application and licensing process shortly after the finalized rules are published. If you are not already on our listserv, we highly encourage you to send us a request so that you are updated on the latest information regarding the rules process and to receive a notification for when the guide is available to download.

If you are interested in joining, access the listserv by using this link or send an email to our Policy Organizer and the facilitator of the listserv, Liz Rupel at