The new law permits the cultivation of industrial hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that is used to make paper, fabrics, biodegradable plastics, construction materials and a variety of foods, including granola. The bill was introduced in January by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights.
“We are excited that Gov. Rauner is signing into law a bill that will bring a new sustainable agriculture industry and millions of dollars in investment and economic growth to Illinois,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, in a statement. “Industrial hemp will bring new opportunities to Illinois farmers.”