Legislation allowing the study of industrial hemp signed by Quinn

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CHICAGO - Legislation that would allow universities and the Illinois Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp has been signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.

On Tuesday, Quinn signed the measure, creating a pilot program in which the state's Agriculture Department or institutions of higher education can study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of hemp.

Industrial hemp can be used in the production of fuel, textiles, plastics, and food.  Hemp is also in the same species as marijuana, but has a negligible amount of marijuana's active ingredient.

Those wanting to participate in the pilot program will have to notify both state and local law enforcement, and will have to provide reports to the state.  Similar programs are available in several other states.

The law will take effect in January.

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