CBD In Illinois

While the U.S. FDA continues to drag its feet on setting up CBD regulations, the Illinois CBD market continues to mature and evolve.

More and more CBD-infused products are being released each day. CBD can now be found in a vast array of oils, tinctures, concentrate, capsules, topical solutions, lip balms, lotions, and edibles of all ilk. Pharma and cosmetics companies also began taking more interest in developing CBD-derived products for both medicinal and supplemental use. 

The evolution of Illinois hemp and CBD laws

Illinois residents have been sending a lot of money out of state in recent years. You see, back in 2014, the language in a US farm appropriations bill created some gray areas in hemp laws that prompted several states to instate hemp farming pilot programs. However, Illinois, once a major producer of hemp until it was criminalized in 1937, was not one of those states. As a result, millions of dollars being spent on CBD oil were flowing out to other states from which CBD products were being imported. 

That all changed in the summer of 2018 when, in anticipation of another upcoming federal farm bill, then-Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Industrial Hemp Act kickstarting the development of hemp regulations and licensing procedures in Illinois. 

Up until Governor Rauner signed the state’s industrial hemp bill into law, the only Illinois residents who were legally permitted to use CBD oil were those enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. Moreover, only state-licensed marijuana growers were permitted to manufacture CBD oil. 

Later that year, Washington DC lawmakers passed the 2018 federal farm bill. The measure included language that officially and forever divorced hemp from marijuana laws and put hemp regulation in the hands of the states (where it belongs). The law also made CBD oil legal at a federal level. 

Because the state had gotten a head start with the 2018 Industrial Hemp Act, Illinois was one of the first to begin mass cultivation of the newly legalized crop. 

When J.B. Pritzker took over the governor’s office in early 2019, he asserted that getting the permitting process rolling in time for the 2019 growing season was a high priority for his administration. He also said that he expected the cultivation of hemp and the production of CBD oil and other hemp products to significantly boost to the state’s agricultural economy. 

For starters it would, to some extent, reverse the flow of money formerly being spent on imported CBD oil and other hemp products, keeping millions of dollars in the state economy. And on top of that, it could provide huge opportunities for exports of CBD and products such as hemp textiles and hemp protein. 

To give you some idea of the money at stake, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, in 2017, corn brought in about $670 per acre and soybeans yielded roughly $560 per acre. These are currently the two most abundant crops in the state. For comparison, a good crop of CBD-rich hemp could be worth as much as $10,000 an acre or more.

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

Sure enough, just one day after the Department of Agriculture published its final regulations the Pritzker administration announced that an online application for hemp cultivation permits was officially up and running. 

Now that the first crop is being harvested and processed, lawmakers in Illinois are focused specifically on developing measures to assure the purity, potency, and safety of CBD products. A proposed bill would require the state Department of Agriculture to develop lab testing requirements for all CBD products sold in Illinois. 

With all of this in mind, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to hemp production and sales in the state of Illinois. Now that you know the backstory, let’s look into some of the most frequently asked questions related to hemp production and the sale of IL CBD.

illinois hemp CBD oil FAQ

Is CBD oil is legal in Illinois?

Under the new laws, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all Illinoisans — not just medical marijuana patients. Thankfully, as a result of the passage of SB2298, Illinoisans no longer need fear being arrested for possession of hemp-derived CBD oil. 

However, CBD oil made from marijuana, aka cannabis oil, is only legally sold at Illinois marijuana dispensaries, even if it does not contain THC, the compound in marijuana responsible for the high. 

Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Illinois?

A great example of the ever expanding evolution of the CBD market is a relatively new product called delta-8 THC. Prior to 2021, few people had ever heard of delta-8 THC. This is essentially a cannabinoid that is similar to the familiar buzz-inducing delta-9 THC except that it’s produced directly from hemp CBD rather than from marijuana. Delta-8 is less intoxicating and less likely to cause feelings of paranoia than the THC found in marijuana. Nonetheless, it does have some intoxicating properties.

Because it’s a form of tetrahydrocannabinol that has mild psychotropic effects, Delta-8 falls into a gray area of CBD laws. Several U.S. states don’t seem to be too concerned with D8, some have regulated or banned it and lawmakers in some other states are looking into doing the same.

More than half of U.S. states allow the sale of D8 outside of marijuana dispensaries including Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Illinois along with Oregon are reviewing their delta-8 rules.

Then, there are states have regulated, restricted, or banned delta-8 including Arizona, California, Colorado, New York, and Michigan. A delta-8 ban in Texas was lifted after a judge temporarily blocked the state from classifying it as a controlled substance.

What medical conditions are being treated with CBD Products?

Illinoisans are using CBD oil to treat a variety of medical conditions. To qualify for marijuana-derived cannabis oil a patient must be diagnosed with one of a list of qualifying conditions. However, there are also additional conditions that are commonly treated with hemp CBD oil.

Can I buy CBD oil products online?

Yes! You can purchase CBD oil online in Illinois and have it delivered right to your door. It’s perfectly legal as long as it’s derived from hemp. You’ll find a much larger selection of CBD brands and products online than you will encounter in a local shop. Be sure to do your homework and find a manufacturer you can trust.

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What hemp CBD products are legally available in Illinois?

A variety of CBD products and delivery methods are available in Illinois. Which of these products is ideal for you depends on a variety of factors including your medical condition and your lifestyle. 

Certain products might be more effective for certain medical conditions. For example, fast onset conditions such as panic attacks and PTSD will respond better to products with a fast onset time such as vaping, while conditions of the stomach and intestines might be better treated with an edible product. 

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to determine the ideal delivery method, formulation, and dosage for your lifestyle and physical condition. 

Here are some of the CBD products available in Illinois:

Where can I legally buy hemp CBD oil in Illinois?

As we’ve discussed, if you’re looking for cannabis oil produced from marijuana, you have to have to be at least 21 years old and purchase it at a licensed marijuana dispensary. 

Marijuana Dispensaries in Illinois 

If, instead, you are shopping for CBD-rich hemp oil or other CBD-infused products you’ll find that the number of retail outlets that carry hemp CBD oil is growing daily. Most of the brick-and-mortar stores that sell CBD oil and other CBD products are located in the larger cities in Illinois such as Chicago, Aurora, Naperville, Joliet, Rockford, Springfield, Elgin, Peoria, and many others. Also, some large retailers such as Walgreens are now selling CBD in Illinois.

Can I legally grow hemp and make CBD oil in Illinois?

It’s illegal to grow cannabis in Illinois without a license unless you are a medical marijuana patient. Card-holding patients are permitted to grow up to five plants at home. This includes both marijuana and CBD-rich hemp. 

In order to grow hemp commercially, farmers need to apply for a license from the state. The license fee for each noncontiguous area or indoor cultivation center is $375 for one year, $700 for two years and $1,000 for three years. The application fee is $100. Farmers are required to report hemp field locations and sizes to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Hemp seed must be certified by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). 

Check out the links at the end of the article for more information on hemp cultivation laws in Illinois.

Can I legally sell CBD oil in Illinois?

Yes, anyone can legally sell CBD oil in Illinois as long as the product is derived from hemp and contains under 0.3 percent THC. At the time of writing, there are no lab testing requirements, however, once lab testing is instituted, stores will be required to remove all untested products. CBD-rich cannabis oil made from marijuana may only be sold by licensed marijuana dispensaries.

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