Even with the passage of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, there is a difference as to how states treat the substance. Some states permit the cultivation of hemp and have passed rules and regulations concerning how the process occurs within their borders. This particular overview covers hemp regulations in Illinois.
Like most states, Illinois legislators have had passed several laws on their path to establishing a comprehensive system for the regulation of marijuana and CBD products. Because of the popularity of CBD, as well as the passage of the federal farm bill in 2014, lawmakers in Illinois have faced increased pressures from a public that has become more and more interested in CBD as a genuine form of alternative medicine to treat a variety of conditions.
While cannabis itself generates a “high” and will show up on most modern drug tests, CBD and CBD products contain little psychoactive THC and will generally not create any kind of palpable high. While this may defeat the purpose for some users, others view non-intoxicating CBD as an effective alternative to traditional cannabis treatments. Medical researchers have noted that the substance could help with the treatment of a variety of conditions, alleviating pain, anxiety, and even helping to treat more debilitating issues.
But demand exists for both cannabis CBD and non-intoxicating hemp CBD. As a consequence, lawmakers in Illinois have created a framework for both cannabis CBD and hemp CBD. This guide should shed light on a few of the finer points of the Illinois legal framework for marijuana and CBD. However, readers are ultimately responsible for their own adherence to all applicable laws.
Illinois Medical Cannabis
Consumers interested in cannabis CBD with a significant THC content will be interested to know that Illinois recently passed a medical marijuana law. The law stipulates that eligible patients with a qualifying condition can legally possess an amount of up to 2.5 ounces of various marijuana products. This includes high-THC CBD derived from the cannabis plant.
Qualifying conditions vary significantly from state-to-state, although Illinois offers an above-average list of conditions that qualifies patients for marijuana usage. Qualifying patients must obtain a written recommendation from their physician and purchase their medical marijuana or cannabis oil from a dispensary licensed and vetted by the state.
Hemp CBD in Illinois
Like most states, Illinois allows all citizens to access low-THC hemp CBD, without the need for a medical marijuana card. The CBD must be below 0.3% in THC content, and it can be obtained from hundreds of shops and stores all over the state. Users must be above the age of eighteen to purchase CBD in most jurisdictions, although few additional regulations exist for consumers.
Senate Bill 2298
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2298 into law in 2018. The Bill permits the production of industrial hemp in the state and also establishes the Industrial Hemp Act. The Bill indicates, among other things, that those who desire to grow, cultivate, or process industrial hemp or industrial hemp products must have a license from the Department of Agriculture.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently released a notice of adopted rules. The rules, available on the Department of Agriculture website. According to the rules, “industrial hemp” is the Cannabis sativa L. plant and any part of the plant, whether it is growing or not, with no more than a 0.3% THC concentration on a dry weight basis that has been cultivated under a license issued under the Act or is otherwise lawfully presented in the state. The definition also includes an intermediate or finished product that is made or derived from industrial hemp.
The Department of Agriculture website features an FAQ page that provides some preliminary information about hemp. The page differentiates between marijuana and hemp. It indicates that although both are derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, marijuana contains THC and has psychoactive effects, while hemp contains 0.3% or less THC and has no psychoactive effects. The page also indicates that hemp has many potential uses – it can be used to make building materials, food, cloth, and more.
Licensing to Cultivate Industrial Hemp
It is necessary to have a license to lawfully cultivate industrial hemp in the state. The Department of Agriculture issues licenses. Similarly, processing or handling industrial hemp in the state also requires a processor/handler registration from the Department of Agriculture.
The notice of adopted rules also identifies the application and licensure process. The process requires that applicants for an industrial hemp cultivation license submit a signed, complete, and accurate and legible application in the form provided by the Department of Agriculture. Applicants must submit information such as their name and address, their business type and name, the legal description and coordinates of the land area to be used to cultivate hemp, a map of the land area where the applicant intends to grow the industrial hemp, the fee, and the varieties of industrial hemp that the applicant intends to cultivate. There are also restrictions as to who can apply, which can be reviewed in the proposed rules.
Inspection and Sampling
Per the notice of proposed rules, the Department of Agriculture has the discretion to inspect licensees to ensure compliance with the rules. Before an inspection, the Department must provide a minimum of five business days’ notice to the licensee about the inspection. A licensee or their agent must be present for the inspection and sampling, among other things.
Sale and Transfer Restrictions
The notice of proposed rules also includes one section on restrictions on the sale and transfer of hemp. The section indicates, in part, those licensees are not permitted to sell or transfer of living plants or viable seeds to any person in the state who does not have a license or registration issued by the Department. It is also not permitted to transfer the plant or seed outside the state if it is not authorized by a state agency or under the laws of the destination state.
Transportation of Industrial Hemp
The notice of proposed rules also includes information on the transportation of industrial hemp. Licensed or registered individuals are not permitted to transport live or harvested industrial hemp. The provisions also indicated that concerning hemp that has not been processed, it may be transferred by the licensee or registrant from the place of cultivation to the place of processing. There are additional provisions that can be reviewed in this section as well.
Overall, this is just a general overview. The full regulation, rules, and application information can be found on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.