In America's misguided war against marijuana, the government banned hemp farming simply because it's related to cannabis. But now states are removing those restrictions.
The Illinois House voted to allow hemp farming in the state. The bill already passed the state's senate, and now passed by a 106 to 3 margin in the House. So considering the massive amount of support from the legislative branch, it seems unlikely that Governor Bruce Rauner will veto the bill.
While hemp does not contain THC or any psychoactive elements like marijuana, the government still banned the farming of the plant during the middle of the 20th century. Hemp farming was actually a highly important industry in the United States at the time, and the state of Illinois grew vast amounts of it during World War Two to make rope for the U.S. Navy. But simply being related to marijuana was enough to push the government to outlaw it.
In 2015 President Barack Obama removed some restrictions on hemp that would allow states to legalize growing the plant again. There are also efforts underway in Congress, spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to legalize hemp farming again.
One pro-farming lobby believes legalizing hemp farming in Illinois could create hundreds of new jobs and raise as much as $100 million for the state in revenue.