After several years of organizing work by Illinois Farmers Union and Illinois Stewardship Alliance, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was passed unanimously by the Illinois General Assembly in the Spring of 2018 and signed into law on August 25, 2018. The Act gave the Illinois Department of Agriculture the authority to permit farmers to grow industrial hemp in Illinois for the first time in 80 years.
The new crop has the potential to diversify the landscape in Illinois. With more than 25,000 document uses in feed, food, fiber, and CBD oil, it is a versatile crop that benefits large-scale commodity growers and small-scale growers for local markets alike. The new industry has the potential to bring thousands of dollars in investment from processing and distribution companies, while generating thousands of dollars in income for farmers.
To assist hemp growers and processors in following new state regulations, Illinois Stewardship Alliance worked with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to produce a free, downloadable guide to navigate the rules and application process.
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