House Committee OKs Legalizing Industrial Hemp

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — An Illinois House committee has passed a measure that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes, such as to make rope, clothing and other accessories.

State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) acknowledged he’s not the leading authority on agriculture issues, but he said he realizes agriculture is Illinois’ biggest business.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

Dunkin said that adding hemp to the list of crops farmers can grow would go a long way to diversifying the state’s agriculture industry.

House Bill 1383 would require farmers wishing to grow, produce, or sell industrial hemp or related projects to be licensed on a yearly basis through the Department of Agriculture.

The House Agriculture & Conservation Committee endorsed the proposal by an 11-2 vote, sending the measure to the full House.

State Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) was one of two representatives to vote no on the measure. Her Western Illinois district is mostly farmland, most of which, she said, is already spoken for.

“Particularly our Asian markets are clamoring for our soybeans,” she explains. “We can’t possibly grow enough soybeans to export on the market.”

Hammond also said she is worried some hemp would be stolen and misused as a hallucinogenic drug.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is on record as supporting the measure, but other agencies such as the Illinois State Police have not weighed in. Hammond said that the only way she’d support the measure is if the state police back it.

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  • Jim

    This comment shows that Norine Hammond hasn’t a clue what she is talking about and is operating from a knee-jerk reaction:

    “Hammond also said she is worried some hemp would be stolen and misused as a hallucinogenic drug.”

    Hemp is NOT and never has been an hallucinogenic drug. It was grown by George Washington and most of the founders as an important cash crop for international trade.

    • kaye berry

      ha ha ha ha, stupid people. this is a direct result of the brainwashing she received as a child… EXCUSE ME, there is nothing in hemp that can be used to fog the mind, lol….. but you will get a headache….

  • Mr. Mackey

    Drugs are bad, Mmkay.

    • Barb

      Industrial hemp is NOT a drug nor can a drug be produced from it!!

      • Don McAdams

        I’m certain that was a joke. Mr. Mackey, from South Park, mmkay? lol

  • anthony

    lol a hallucinogenic drug? what an idiot.

  • Eddie Gurrola

    Hammond go back to school and do your homework!

  • tintala

    I would no longer be impoverished if my government allowed me to grow hemp on my 300 acre farm. it is a shame I am not allowed to live the american dream due to lies and lobbyist!

  • Jack L Eich

    hemp was grown in illinois in the second world war. I seen hemp everywhere in fence lines and along creeks. I used to work on irrigaters and was out in farmland . hemp grows wild many places. It would be the best thing to happen in farm country -ever! corn is chemically laden and the contamination that occurs is radical. polluted creeks and rivers from AG chemicals. right now I drink hemp milk,use hemp powder and eat hemp bars. I buy them from

  • Jack L Eich

    Its a shame we buy our hemp products from manitoba. our farmers need to plant hemp. we could use it as a fuel source. 40% of our farmland could fuel america. also good source of omega 3/6 and 9 in an almost perfect ratio. it is a plethora of vitamins. over 50% protein as well. makes super closthing also. lets hope this bill goes forward!!!!

    • Dale Daniel

      thank you for enlightening me those are the type of things that need to be said at the meeting of the full house what person would say no to that? unless that person is worried her soybeans would lack production in place of hemp being grown even though that hemp crop would yield higher profits for longer than soybeans.

  • Barb

    Norreen Hammond is just one example of a majority of people who don’t do their homework before they vote on an issue or speak out against it. Noreen, go to “” and read about industrial hemp!! It has absolutely NO “hallucinogenic” properties!! I would also hope that the State Police (all of them) read and do their homework on industrial hemp before condemning it. Read about the wonderful qualities of this crop and all of the things that it can be used for. In fact, in 2012, the first road-ready hemp-mobile, the Kestrel, will be introduced to the automobile market. Search the recent article in Popular Science for more information on this electric vehicle. You will be doing yourself and our country a huge favor by reading and informing yourselves on industrial hemp. Gas priced too high?? Check out bio fuels that could be produced from industrial hemp. And on, and on, and on I could go but it’s time for you to check it out for yourselves. You’ll be glad you did:)

  • Sam Surdi

    LOL!!! Hemp a hallucinogenic!… Not only that but Check out….
    US PATENT 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
    Assignee – The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services

    This of cousrse referring to Hemps psychoactive cousin.

  • John Novak

    Stop letting police decide the debate! The black market serves only the interests of both the police state and criminals. HEMP FOR VICTORY IN 2011 and 2012!

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    […] House Committee OKs Legalizing Industrial Hemp « CBS Chicago […]

  • Lygeia

    It is really quite hysterically funny that State Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) believes the male plant (hemp) can make people high, especially since she represents a farming community.

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