GALESBURG, Il - For months, Ryan Harvey planned the moment his new hemp store would open. It is finally set to open on Monday and it's the first of its kind in Galesburg. Hemp is currently a booming industry across the country.
"Just with our organization there's been about 175 stores to open up in the past six months," said Harvey.
Hemp is a diverse crop used for fiber, grain, food and medical purposes, like at Your CBD store.
Harvey suffered from depression as a young adult. Then he started using hemp products.
"I immediately started to go out more. Immediately cared more. Felt better," said Harvey.
Harvey's story is not unique. Just an hour away in Pekin, Central Illinois farmers were eager to jump in on the hemp industry while attending a forum.
Experts predicting an economic boost think the state needs to capitalize.
"We need our industry to be built up. We need folks that want to start processing. We need processing facilities in illinois. We have some out of state, but we need some in our state," said Liz Rupel, Executive Director at Illinois Stewardship Alliance.
That should be easier now because of the new farm bill. It loosens the rules on the growth and sale hemp products. Since it was signed in December, people are applying non-stop for something once considered taboo and too much like marijuana.
"Basically the farm bill has ensured to everybody that what we are doing is completely legitimate," said Harvey.
In the next 30 days, Harvey plans to open two hemp stores in the Peoria area and he hopes to reap the benefits of being ahead of the local trend.
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