SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced April 30 it is now accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp.

Applications will be taken online. The application fee is $100. Once approved, growers may buy cultivation licenses ranging from $375 for a one-year license to $1,000 for a three-year term, according to a department news release.

The department is ready to review and process the applications as they are received.

“Industrial hemp is a potentially billion-dollar industry that Illinois will now take part in,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “From farming and processing to sales and exports, this will have a massive impact on our state's economy.”

John Sullivan, state director of the Department of Agriculture, said since the passage of the Industrial Hemp Act last year, no single issue has generated more interest at the department from Illinois farmers, individuals and business owners.

“Through the application process, you're going to identify where the field is going to be, and then our inspectors will be out there periodically throughout the year, testing the crop,” Sullivan told the Associated Press.