• Currently, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products are legal to purchase and consume in Illinois. However, there are specific state laws that determine who can possess which type of CBD.
  • Senate Bill 2298 created the Industrial Hemp Act, lifting all industrial hemp restrictions while legalizing it for commercial use(1).
  • House Bill 1438 created a system to allow Illinois residents over twenty-one years old to use cannabis(2).
  • Aspiring Illinois hemp growers must obtain an industrial hemp license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA).
  • Illinois hemp farmers must comply with random tests, ensuring plant THC levels remain below 0.3%, the legal amount(3).

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products are legal in Illinois. However, a few laws restrict the type of CBD that a person can possess.

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act became law in May 2019. It allowed the cultivation, transportation, and selling of cannabis products in the state(4).

Illinois has legalized medical marijuana use since the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was passed in 2013(5). The medical marijuana program allowed people to use cannabis for autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis.

Illinois used to restrict the cultivation of hemp to research purposes only. However, lawmakers in the state took a measured approach for hemp and its byproducts. 

By August 2018, the state passed Senate Bill 2298, also known as the Industrial Hemp Act. The act lifted the restrictions on industrial hemp and legalized it for commercial cultivation(6).

Illinois is one of the states that revised their stance on hemp and hemp-derived products after the 2018 Farm Bill became law in 2018(7).

Illinois CBD Laws

Although Illinois has already passed several marijuana laws over the years, industrial hemp cultivation was not legalized until 2018 with the Industrial Hemp Act’s creation.

The Industrial Hemp Act requires all hemp-derived CBD products to be processed in the state(8). The state government provides industrial hemp licenses to producers that process cannabidiol and other medical marijuana products.

The following are the laws related to the legalization of CBD in the state of Illinois:

2014 Cannabis Control Act

The Illinois Cannabis Control Act was signed in 2014, allowing industrial hemp to be cultivated for research purposes(9). This legislation defined hemp plants as those that contained no more than 0.3% THC.

Senate Bill 2298

SB 2298 was a bill filed by Senator Toi Hutchinson and became law in 2018(10). It was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, consequently lifting restrictions on the production of hemp in Illinois.

The bill created the state’s Industrial Hemp Act. It established a legal status framework in which Illinois residents can cultivate and process hemp. 

However, aspiring growers should first secure their hemp licences. They can apply through the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA)’s website.

SB 2298 changed the Noxious Weed Act and Cannabis Control Act. It took away hemp from being categorized as a noxious weed and controlled substance.

In early 2019, the IDA implemented temporary rules for SB 2298. Under these new rules, industrial hemp has been redefined to mean Cannabis sativa hemp strains that contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol(11)(THC).

THC is a psychoactive compound from cannabis plants(12) that causes a euphoric “high” when consumed.

House Bill 1438

In June 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB 1438, which ended the prohibition on cannabis in Illinois(13). The new law put a system to regulate and tax cannabis use for residents above the age of twenty-one.

Besides legalizing cannabis use and possession, the law expands the existing medical cannabis licensing system. Some of the changes include allowing medical patients to grow cannabis at home and providing financial assistance to aspiring business owners.

Licensing Requirements

To start legally cultivating hemp in Illinois, individuals need to submit an application form to the Illinois Department of Agriculture

The application should include the following information(14):

  • Name and personal address
  • Business address
  • Type of business
  • Legal description and map of the proposed growing area
  • Proposed hemp types for cultivation
  • $100 application fee

Hemp license applications are generally processed in 30 days. If approved, a license is valid for up to three years from the date it was issued.

The cost of a three-year license is $1,000.  A two-year license costs $700, while $375 is good for one year.

Based on current regulations, individuals with a prior felony related to controlled substances are not eligible for a hemp license. Failure to comply with the licensing procedure may result in a fine of up to $10,000 for every violation. Applicants and licensees should keep up to date with any compliance changes or policy updates from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and applicable laws.

Testing Requirements

Once registered, hemp farms are subject to random tests to ensure that the plants’ THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%. 

These samples are gathered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which they test and send to a third-party lab for verification.

If the IDA finds that the THC levels exceed the maximum threshold, a licensee may be allowed to retest their crops. If the hemp tests above 0.7% THC, it must be destroyed(15).

Illinois CBD Labeling Requirements

Illinois has stringent labeling requirements for products containing CBD. CBD providers are required to provide the following details on their product labels(16):

  • All ingredients of the product, including colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Allergen labeling
  • The premixed total weight of cannabis in the product
  • A warning that states the item is a product infused with medical cannabis
  • Amount of THC, CBD, and other ingredients apart from cannabis

The packaging of the cannabis-infused product should conform to the labeling requirements set forth by the Illinois Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Another aspect that should be listed on a CBD product‘s label is the dosage. The dosage usually includes the amount of CBD in milligrams, number of servings, and serving size of each CBD item.

The source of CBD is equally crucial for users. High-quality cannabidiol is often extracted from hemp plants, as they are known to be high in CBD.

Buying CBD Legally

Cultivating and selling hemp-derived cannabidiol is legal in Illinois

Illinois residents may have up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and 30 grams of cannabis flower in their possession. Possessing a cannabis product with a THC concentration no higher than 500 milligrams is also allowed(17)

Individuals can make an over-the-counter CBD purchase without a medical marijuana card, a state-issued card that allows patients to buy cannabis products from a licensed dispensary to treat various medical conditions.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is responsible for issuing medical marijuana cards to patients(18). 

Qualified patients are Illinois residents with debilitating conditions, such as autism, seizure, and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)(19).

To receive a medical marijuana card, individuals must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be an Illinois resident at the time of application 
  • Have a qualifying medical condition
  • Have certification from a physician
  • Does not have a school bus permit or a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
  • Not a law enforcement officer, correctional probation officer, correctional officer, or a firefighter
  • Be at least 18 years old

Still, individuals should select cannabis products based on their healthcare needs. 

Consider the following when buying CBD in Illinois:

  • Make sure that the CBD product has no more than 0.3% THC.
  • The best way of producing CBD hemp oil is by supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is an efficient and safe method of acquiring cannabidiol from hemp plants(20).
  • Choose CBD brands that have their products tested by reputable third-party laboratories. Manufacturers make these lab results public through their company website.
  • Select a CBD provider that has clear policies on returns and shipping.

Users can also visit the brand’s website and see how transparent it is with its processes. People can also read customer testimonials and reviews for more details.

Lastly, the ideal brand offers clear labels on the ingredients they used for their CBD products. Many CBD companies offer users different cannabidiol strengths to meet their unique needs.

How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy

CBD products have started to become popular since they were legalized by the United States 2018 Farm Bill. However, there are a few vital considerations with regards to selecting the right CBD.

  1. Buy CBD oil extracted from organic hemp.

A study has revealed that plants draw out minerals from the soil, potentially including any contaminants in it(21).

For CBD to be safe, users need to choose products that come from organic hemp. Organic hemp-derived cannabidiol does not expose consumers to potentially harmful substances.

2. Know the CBD extraction method used.

After being harvested, hemp plants are put through an extraction process that draws out cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds.

There are several extraction methods that use different solvents. However, using CO2 as the primary solvent is considered the safest and cleanest approach(22).

An alternative is the extraction process that uses food-grade ethanol. This process extracts cannabinoids and essential oils using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol as solvent. 

3. Request for third-party lab results.

Third-party tests can be used to verify that a CBD product contains the levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids listed on its label. 

This transparency helps users make an educated decision before buying CBD from a dispensary. Unfortunately, not all CBD brands allow the public to access their lab results and those sellers should be avoided.

Where to Buy CBD Products Legally

Purchasing hemp-derived cannabidiol is legal for both medical and recreational use in Illinois. Most retailers in the state offer CBD tinctures, topicals, gummies, vapes, and capsules. Some stores even provide CBD for animals.

CBD-infused cookies and candies are a convenient way to consume cannabidiol.

These are some of the shops in Illinois that sell CBD:

  • CBD Kratom in Chicago
  • Huxhemp CBD Apothecary in Chicago
  • Vapor Haus in Des Plaines
  • Elixrz Vape Shop in South Elgin
  • Vaperz in Forest View

Those who wish to purchase CBD from home can shop for cannabidiol products online. 


What is CBD?

CBD is one of the main organic cannabinoid substances obtained from Cannabis Sativa plants, besides THC(23)

Some consumers take CBD products sublingually or under the tongue, or ingest them through CBD-infused edibles. Others apply them on their skin as a topical, or inhale them through vaping.

Studies have shown that CBD may be beneficial to individuals with medical conditions, such as anxiety, addiction, sleep disorder, and epilepsy(24)

What Are the Types of CBD?

Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates are the three types of cannabidiol.

CBD hemp products that contain all of the chemical derivatives of cannabis are known as full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD is legal in Illinois as long as it does not have more than 0.3% THC.

Broad-spectrum CBD is the type that has all cannabis compounds, except for THC. It is ideal for people who wish to benefit from cannabis without the psychoactive THC.

Lastly, there are isolates, which are pure cannabidiol. These products are often sold in crystalline or powdered form due to their purity.

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

Although CBD has a generally favorable safety profile, it comes with risks. The most commonly reported side effects of cannabidiol consumption are diarrhea, tiredness, and appetite changes(25). The long term effects of cannabinoids are not yet fully known.

When Was CBD Discovered?

Humans have cultivated cannabis for thousands of years. The first cannabinoid isolated from cannabis plants was cannabinol (CBN), followed by cannabidiol (CBD) in 1963(26)

The following year, scientists isolated another compound, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

What Is the Latest CBD News in Illinois?

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act legalizes recreational marijuana and possession of high-THC products(27). This bill came into effect in January 2020, which made the state one of the places that allow adult-use marijuana.


People in Illinois can purchase CBD products in the state without a prescription. However, a prescription is not the same as a medical marijuana card in Illinois. 

The medical marijuana card allows access to other forms of cannabis. Only people with debilitating conditions, such as epilepsy and autism, can become cardholders.

CBD in Illinois was not allowed until 2017. After the passage of SB 2298 in 2018, industrial hemp restrictions have been lifted, making it legal for commercial cultivation.

Illinois residents who wish to operate hemp farms must obtain a license from the state Department of Agriculture. Once approved, the hemp farms are subject to random testing to ensure that the plants’ THC concentration is below 0.3%.

Some of the shops in Illinois that sell CBD products are CBD Kratom in Chicago, Elixrz Vape Shop in South Elgin, and Vapor Haus in Des Plaines.

Before purchasing any CBD product or using CBD for a medical condition, buyers should talk to a doctor and ask for advice to prevent complications.

  1. Illinois General Assembly (2018, Aug. 26). INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. Retrieved from: https://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2298&GAID=14&GA=100&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=108613&SessionID=91
  2. Illinois General Assembly (2019, June 25). CANNABIS REGULATION & TAX ACT. Retrieved from: https://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1438&GAID=15&SessionID=108&LegID=115810
  3. Illinois Department of Agriculture. NOTICE OF ADOPTED RULES INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. Retrieved from: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Documents/Hemp%20Rules%20as%20adopted_2019-04-29.pdf
  4. Illinois General Assembly (2019, May 28). Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Retrieved from: https://ilga.gov/legislation/101/HB/PDF/10100HB1438sam002.pdf
  5. Illinois Department of Public Health. Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program. Retrieved from: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis
  6. Illinois General Assembly (2018, Aug. 26). INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. op. cit.
  7. Hudak, J (2018, Dec. 14). The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/
  8. Illinois General Assembly (2019, May 28). Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. op. cit.
  9. Illinois General Assembly. Cannabis Control Act. Retrieved from: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ILCS/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1937&ChapterID=53
  10. Illinois General Assembly (2018, Aug. 26). INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. op. cit.
  11. Illinois Department of Agriculture. NOTICE OF ADOPTED RULES INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. op. cit.
  12. Huestis M. A. (2007). Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & biodiversity, 4(8), 1770–1804. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.200790152. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689518/
  13. Illinois General Assembly (2019, June 25). CANNABIS REGULATION & TAX ACT. op. cit.
  14. Illinois Department of Agriculture. NOTICE OF ADOPTED RULES INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. op. Cit.
  15. Illinois Department of Agriculture. Industrial Hemp Frequently Ask Questions. Retrieved from: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Pages/Hemp-FAQ.aspx
  16. Illinois General Assembly. AGRICULTURE AND ANIMALS Packaging and Labeling of Medical Cannabis and Cannabis-Infused Products. Retrieved from: https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/008/008010000E04200R.html
  17. NORML. Illinois Laws and Penalties. Retrieved from: https://norml.org/laws/illinois-penalties/
  18. Illinois Department of Public Health. Medical Cannabis Patient Application. Retrieved from: https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/medical-cannabis-registry-application
  19. Illinois Department of Public Health. Debilitating Conditions. Retrieved from: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/debilitating-conditions
  20. Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). Utilisation of Design of Experiments Approach to Optimise Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Medicinal Cannabis. Scientific reports, 10(1), 9124. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66119-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272408/
  21. Ojuederie, O. B., & Babalola, O. O. (2017). Microbial and Plant-Assisted Bioremediation of Heavy Metal Polluted Environments: A Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(12), 1504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121504. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5750922/
  22. Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). op. cit.
  23. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0034. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  24. Crippa, J. A., Guimarães, F. S., Campos, A. C., & Zuardi, A. W. (2018). Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 2009. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161644/
  25. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. op.cit.
  26. Atakan Z. (2012). Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 2(6), 241–254. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125312457586. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  27. Illinois General Assembly. Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Retrieved from: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3992&ChapterID=35
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