Greetings all who are curious about the latest word on the status of Hemp in Illinois. First off, for our third update we have huge news: SB2298 has been signed into law by Gov. Rauner effective immediately!
The Illinois Department of Agriculture now has 120 days to establish the rules and regulations for applicants who want to grow and process hemp. Now is the time to let the ILDA know that this is a great opportunity for all people to benefit even more from the legalization of industrial hemp in Illinois. Click here to leave feedback about what you want to see in the hemp rules and regulations to the ILDA!
Second, we have an update from Hemp Inc. about their company and the federal status of hemp.
Third, a story from the Pekin Daily Times about a local business that uses CBD from hemp to provide medicine to patients who don’t have medical cannabis cards.
Fourth, more news on the federal status of hemp from Politico featuring NHA Chairman Geoff Whaling
Finally, from NPR Illinois, an article about hemp’s patriotic return to Mount Vernon.
- Illinois’ Industrial Hemp Act, which goes into effect immediately, allows for its use in paper, fabric, biodegradable plastics, construction materials and health food, according to the governor’s office.
- The state Department of Agriculture will issue licenses to farmers who want to grow it, and regulators will establish rules for THC-level testing of industrial hemp crops.
“The production of industrial hemp has broad support among our farmers and rural families, as they know this will add another potentially significant crop that can be grown in our state,”
“In the early 20th century, Illinois was a national leader in hemp production and I look forward to us returning to that position.”
-Tim Butler, Sponsoring State Rep. R-Springfield
U.S. Moves Closer to Hemp Legalization as Hemp, Inc. Continues to Ramp Up Industrial Hemp Operations Nationwide
- Recently, the U.S. Senate decided to conference on the historic 2018 Farm Bill to work out disparities between the Senate and the House’s versions of the bill. The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill contains the Hemp Farming Act that would remove industrial hemp from the federal government’s schedule of controlled substances.
- Hemp Farming Act of 2018 is sponsored by Leader Mitch McConnell and co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of more than two-dozen Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. McConnell, who introduced the Hemp Farming Act, put himself on the conference committee. Lawmakers are also expected to advance the measure when they meet next month to draft the final, bicameral version of the legislation, according to The Washington Post.
“By meeting with farmers across the country we are positioning the company to capture the legalized hemp market nationwide once hemp is federally legalized. We are committed to expanding our growing and processing capabilities by identifying strategic partners who align with our company’s mission and vision,”
“We pride ourselves on having had the vision years ago to create an infrastructure that supports the American farmer who wants to cultivate industrial hemp and be on the forefront of this rapidly growing industry.
-Hemp, Inc. CEO, Bruce Perlowin
- Hemp-derived CBDs that are either THC-free or contain only trace amounts of THC — the PlusCBD oil sold at CBDepot, for example, contains less than 0.3 percent THC but more than 0 percent THC — are the main product at the CBDepot at 530 Margaret St. in Pekin, which is opened from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Owner Eric Sweatt held a grand opening for the new store Saturday.
- Sweatt opened CBDepot to accommodate prospective medical cannabis patients who are waiting to receive medical marijuana cards. Between 20 and 25 percent of those patients, he said, could derive relief from their conditions from simple applications of cannabidiols. Additionally, public safety, law enforcement, or medical professionals who must submit to regular drug tests and therefore cannot use medical marijuana can safely use CBDs.
“My CBD has zero THC, and people using it can pass a drug test,”
“Professional people who can’t use cannabis can have pain, too, and can need relief from it. I need to be able to have those people come in and buy my product, so everything I have is tested to make sure nobody loses their job for using it. I don’t want to be responsible for that, but I do want to be responsible for their relief.”
-Eric Sweatt, Owner of CBDepot
- Much of the acceptance of industrial hemp boils down to economics. The U.S. hemp market pulled in $820 million in sales in 2017, according to Hemp Business Journal. Because selling American hemp is still largely restricted, parts of the market are highly reliant on products imported from China and Canada. With growth projected at almost $2 billion by 2022, optimism that American growers can take a chunk of this market share is abundant.
- According to National Hemp Association Chairman Geoff Whaling, there’s demand for millions of acres of hemp fiber for use in auto manufacturing and clothing, but a lack of infrastructure and investment leaves the industry nowhere close to meeting it.
“I had a major women’s apparel company saying that it would like to find American-sourced hemp, but they’re looking for 25 million yards of fabric,”
“No one spins, weaves that amount of fiber in the United States.”
-Geoff Whaling, National Hemp Association Chairman
- For the first time in what historians say could be centuries, hemp has been grown and harvested at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate.
- In the 1760s, Washington predicted that hemp could be a more profitable crop than tobacco and grew it across his farm. At the time, hemp was abundant in Virginia and elsewhere in the U.S.
- This summer, horticulturists at Mount Vernon partnered with the University of Virginia and planted hemp once again.
“It’s been two generations that we last grew hemp. That means it’s lost from the general population’s knowledge or memory,”
“…this is an innocuous plant that has real benefits and our Founding Fathers knew that and they planted it.”
-Brian Walden, Farmer and Hemp Patriot