The Illinois General Assembly is considering legislation that would legalize industrial hemp. Some say that this could help medical marijuana growers, and patients. The state has about 25,000 registered medical marijuana patients, but being able to produce medicine using hemp opens the door to make products available to everyone.
Those supporting the legislation say that passing the bill could help with the lack of regulation of hemp, according to U.S. News & World Report. Hemp would be subjected to the same testing that a marijuana plant would go through. This means it would be tested for potency and for pesticides.
Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana says that hemp “is a minor concern”. Even though it can’t get you high, Sabet and his organization oppose hemp legalization. They call it a “stalking horse” for marijuana.
The legal hemp industry is expected to grow to $1-billion by 2020. In 2016, the hemp industry increased its value by 30-percent, totaling $262-milllion in value nationwide.