Illinois: Governor Signs Hemp Research Measure Into Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 27, 2014

    Democrat Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation, House Bill 5085, authorizing state universities to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes.

    The new law takes effect in January.

    Illinois joins more than a dozen states — including Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah earlier this year — that have enacted legislation redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and authorizing state-sponsored research and/or cultivation of the crop.

    In February, federal lawmakers approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant. 

    23 responses to “Illinois: Governor Signs Hemp Research Measure Into Law”

    1. mexweed says:

      Good news– CORN (cultivated to wasteful excess in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa) is said to be a good precursor crop for hemp; in turn hemp is a good precursor crop for TREES (and alleged to be a more efficient source of ethanol than corn anyway). Here’s to a swift transition to ecojustice!

    2. Julian says:

      The most emailed article in the current New York Times contains a video of how Charlotte’s Web has been reduced to .03% thc to qualify as hemp so kids with epilepsy whose parents can’t afford to move to Colorado get their medicine by the thousands instead of the hundreds.
      I love to imagine what the Koch brothers think the value of their petrochemical and timber patents will soon be.
      Eat your hearts out Charles and David Koch. You can celebrate your climactic failure with Michelle Leonhart over at the DEA. Perhaps future civilizations will set your statues next to Emperor Nero or paint your facades holding 30 pieces of silver with Jesus at his last supper?

    3. Ray says:

      Let me just say that Gov. Pat Quinn and every Republican and Democrat that pushed this through may have just saved the economy and people of Illinois. New York needs to follow this lead and have “research seed” in the ground by spring 2015. Hint “start now, look what happened with the DEA in Kentucky”.

      Hemp Prohibition will be remembered as one of mankind’s most expensive, deadly, destructive and racially dividing mistakes to ever have been concocted.

    4. Walker Richardson says:

      Also, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is looking for an outdoor facility to do research on THC. With the sale and production of more products that have cannabis ingredients there now is more urgency for federal oversight to protect the American consumer.

    5. travis says:

      But the thousands of Illinois farmers with generations and generations worth of knowledge in farm management and there hundreds of thousands of acres of tillable land can not grow the Government defined, nonintoxicating “industrial hemp” cultivar (less than .3% thc dry weight). Really? Let’s get serious about this friends.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:


      The Koch brothers represent a darker side of capitalism — self-centered, greedy, reckless with other’s lives and property, willing to put profit before the welfare of subsequent generations. I despise them and any political party willing to be bought off with their big bucks, especially if that political party denies science.

    7. travis says:

      P.S. does anyone know what the vote results were for bill 5085? I just looked It up. It passed 51-0. I can not help but think a MUCH stronger bill could have been passed easily. If states really want to jump start there economies, they need to be ahead of the curve with hemp legislation. Illinois has no reason to be stepping into the water one toe at a time. Dive in!

    8. travis says:

      @Galileo Galilei

      It’s only a party issue on t.v. brother the vast majority of ALL Americans support reform so please don’t divide, unify.

    9. Julian says:

      The wonderful thing is that despite all the Koch funded “think tanks” secret “underwriter” funding to PBS, paying for summer interns at the Drug Policy Alliance so they can lie and say their “pro marijuana,” their shutting down the government before the hemp research amendment passed through the Farm Bill…
      …Despite their patenting of everything with fibers and petrochemicals that will drop in price with a flourishing domestic hemp industry such as Cordura fabric, Lycra, Dixie, Brawny, Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Stainmanster Carpets, ToughRock and Georgia Pacific lumber… even the timber and petrochemical patents that originally outlawed hemp 75 years ago they purchased from DuPont in 2004…
      …None of that can stop legalization now. It has been the most amazing and inspiring event of my life …besides my children being born… to see our legalization movement grow and prosper in defiance of such greedily established prohibition from Koch Industries. I am truly proud to stand in support of NORML as we conquer the most powerful patents on earth.
      The longer the battle, the sweeter the victory…

    10. Ray says:

      @Julian-We know that trace amounts of fluoride, iodine, and almost every item in a multivitamin helps the human body in some way. So what would be the long term affects of removing cannabinoids from our daily consumption like we did since Harry Anslingers 1930s DEA made us do?

      Completely removing an item no matter how small from our food supply has to have reaction intentional and unintentional (Autism, Dravet, cancers, ALS, Parkinson’s, Juvinile Diabeties, food allergies, obesity, and possibly alcoholism and/or opiate addiction). There is a chance that these diseases might be reduced or eliminated by ingesting hemp or cannabis. We need to study the results of cannabis eradication now before we and our children needlessly suffer any more.

      Tell Nancy Grace to get behind this movement and push for research, she asked the question to Norm. With all this research Nancy needs to ask Michelle Leonhart if she still thinks all drugs are still bad.

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