New legislation would amend the Illinois Noxious Weed Law to allow farmers to grow and sell industrial hemp.
The plant is a strain of cannabis that doesn’t have psychoactive properties. Peoria-based Global Hemp is developing potential uses for fiber that can be chemically “cottonized” for a softer product. President Eric Pollitt is marketing the product to higher-end companies.
“I want this to be that someone goes to Banana Republic, like this shirt I have on, and says, ‘Wow I really like that, it looks good wow, it feels good, this and that," he said. "I want them to say, ‘Wow, this is hemp? I would have thought this is cotton.’”
Pollitt also said a car company already has expressed interest in using his product for prototypes.
The state Senate unanimously passed a bill May 4 legalizing hemp fiber, seed, and oil cultivation. It now proceeds to the House.