Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a cannabinoid that is found in both industrial hemp and the related intoxicating plant, marijuana. In January 2020, Illinois joined the group of 11 states where most cannabis products, including CBD, are freely and legally available.
Even with legal marijuana in Illinois, many people seek out CBD products in place of those high in THC. This is because CBD is not intoxicating. It also will not show up on drug tests, which is a concern for people in many professions. A mix of anecdotal evidence and a handful of clinical studies have shown promise for potential therapeutic properties attached to CBD. Many people swear by it for maladies that range from seizures and chronic pain to insomnia, anxiety and depression. However, no matter where you live, it’s a good idea to make sure that the remedies you are buying are legal. Laws in every state change and evolve with ever legislating session. This is what we’ve learned regarding the legality of CBD in Illinois.
Is CBD oil legal in Illinois?
Yes, CBD is legal in Illinois. People who are 21 or older or individuals with medical marijuana cards can buy marijuana-based CBD products from licensed dispensaries.
Hemp-based CBD can be legally purchased by any resident or visitor in Illinois. There are no age limits for buying CBD products and no quantity limits.
What are the current CBD laws in Illinois?
Currently, hemp-based CBD can be purchased over the counter in a wide range of retail establishments. Marijuana-based CBD is also legal to medical patients and those who are over 21.
While Illinois now has some of the country’s most liberal cannabis laws, that was not always the case. In 1931, Illinois became one of 29 states to outlaw recreational use of marijuana.
In 1978, the state began exploring a liberalization of laws. Illinois passed the Cannabis Control Act that year, which would have allowed for the use of medical marijuana in the state. However, the way the law was written, action was needed by the State Police and the Department of Human Services to put the law into action. Since neither ever made moves toward a legal framework for medical marijuana, cannabis remained illegal for medical patients.
This changed in 2013, when the Illinois General Assemble passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This law allowed for medical marijuana use in certain tightly controlled situation. The bill was signed into law by Governor Patrick Quinn in August, 2013. Under the law, legally registered patients with a prescription from a medical professional could apply for a medical marijuana ID card. There were over 30 covered conditions such as epilepsy, cancer and Crohn’s disease. The medical card allowed patients to purchase both THC and CBD products from licensed dispensaries, and also allowed for the cultivation of marijuana by licensed growers.
The first attempts at recreational legalization, which would allow anyone of legal age to purchase marijuana products that include CBD oil, was made on March 22, 2017. The measure proposed by Illinois lawmakers would allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and to grow up to five plants. The legislation did not pass during that session, but many considered its chances of passing high with later administration.
During the same period, Illinois greatly expanded its medical marijuana program. Applicants for medical ID cards would no longer have to submit to fingerprinting or criminal background checks. Additionally, more qualifying medical conditions were added.
By 2019, the Illinois General Assembly was ready to pass the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act to legalize recreational marijuana. Notably pro-legalization Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law on June 25, 2019.
At the same time this was happening, there was a loosening of laws regarding hemp-based CBD products. For many years, hemp growth and sale was prohibited because hemp had been lumped in with marijuana under federal drug laws.
The federal Farm Bills in 2014 and 2018 allowed for hemp to be grown throughout the country under certain circumstances. In 2014, states were permitted to allow growth for research purposes. The 2018 bill reclassified hemp from a Schedule 1 controlled substance to an agricultural commodity.
Each state was allowed to create their own hemp cultivation and processing program. In Illinois, this program is overseen by the Department of Agriculture. People who want to grow or process hemp in the state can apply for a permit. All hemp grown in Illinois must, by law, contain less than .3% THC. Crops are subject to random testing to ensure that they are within legal limits.
There is no permit needed to sell hemp-based CBD products in Illinois. However, CBD products sold in the state must follow the same labeling rules that cannabis-infused products do. The name of the product and producer must be clearly posted on the label. The date of testing and packaging must be listed, as well as the identity of the testing laboratory. All must show the date of manufacture and the use by date. The CBD content, as well as any other ingredients, must be listed.
Additionally, it is not legal to make medical or therapeutic claims on the label of CBD products. This is in accordance with current FDA rules regarding cannabidiol products.
While it may seem counterintuitive to run medical marijuana and recreational marijuana programs side by side, each has certain distinctions that make it beneficial. Those with a medical marijuana card are subject to lower taxes on qualifying marijuana products. Additionally, while Illinois does not offer reciprocity to other medical marijuana states, a number of other states with medical marijuana laws on the books will accept out of state cards from visitors.
Can I purchase CBD in Illinois?
Yes, you can purchase CBD in Illinois. Any resident or visitor can purchase hemp-based CBD products that have less than .3% THC. These are available at a wide array of retail outlets that include drug stores, CBD specialty stores, boutiques, convenience stores and more. CBD products available in Illinois include edibles like cookies, brownies and candies, CBD creams and ointments, CBD oils and extracts and CBD in capsules.
It is also legal to purchase CBD products online and have them delivered to your address in Illinois. Many people buy online due to convenience, an extended range of choices and access to lower prices. You can also find a wider array of testing protocols to ensure that the CBD products that you buy are tested in a way that makes you feel secure about the content and purity of the products that you buy.
Marijuana-based CBD products can be purchased at legal dispensaries. You must be 21 years or age or possess a medical marijuana ID card in order to purchase marijuana-based CBD.