is cbd legal in illinois

Is CBD Legal In Illinois? Ask An Expert

Is CBD Oil Legal in Illinois?

Illinois is now one of the most cannabis-friendly states in America, as the second Midwestern state to fully legalize cannabis, just behind Michigan. Recreational marijuana became legal in the Land of Lincoln at the beginning of 2020. And medical marijuana has been available to Illinois residents since 2013. Yet despite the liberal acceptance of full strength cannabis, there’s still a lot of questions about hemp-derived CBD oil. People are asking, "Is CBD legal in Illinois?”

The 2018 Farm bill updated federal law by redefining hemp. The law also declared that hemp-derived CBD products are legal, so long as the products contained less than 0.3 percent delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Individual states have enacted their own laws and regulations when it comes to cannabis and hemp products. This post will help you understand where Illinois stands when it comes to cannabis, CBD, and hemp-related laws. In short, we will answer the question, “Is CBD oil legal in Illinois?”

Illinois Hemp History

Most people don’t think of Illinois as an important state for pre-Drug War hemp cultivation. But in fact, before the Civil War, Illinois was one of the three top producing hemp states in America, along with Kentucky and Missouri. But by 1917, Illinois was only growing 100 acres of hemp, when Kentucky was growing 18,000 acres.1  

Once cannabis prohibition took effect in 1937, Illinois lost connection to its hemp legacy. In the early 21st century, after decades of the Drug War, residents of Illinois began to reclaim their cannabis freedom.

Illinois Cannabis Laws

Medicinal marijuana has been legal in Illinois since 2013, when the General Assembly passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.2 But freedom isn’t free, and shop owners have complained about the price tag. A license to run a legal dispensary in Illinois can cost a shop well over $400,000 to go through that process. 

That’s a steep hurdle, no matter your economic background. But for entrepreneurs of color looking to get into the legal marijuana business, it was nearly insurmountable. So when recreational marijuana began gaining momentum a few years later, so too did the notion of granting an easier path into the business to Black and minority businesspeople.

In May 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed an act that legalized recreational cannabis effective January 2020. The bill was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019. The law states that marijuana sale and usage is legal in the state for those who are over 21 years old.3

The law does set limitations on possession. Currently, the possessor may have up to one ounce of cannabis plant materials. “Adults can have cannabis edibles totaling no more than 500mg of THC and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate products. Any non-Illinois residents will be able to purchase half of those amounts,” according to Horwitz, Horwitz and Associates.4

That means that tourists visiting Illinois are able to legally purchase a half-ounce of weed and a handful of gummies, as an example, without fear of prosecution. However, crossing state lines with those purchases can be problematic legally, depending on the laws of the states that you enter.

Anecdotal evidence tells us that “weed tourism” is definitely popular in Illinois. Many people have no qualms about taking their “souvenirs” across state lines into places where legal pot is not available. It goes without saying that legal Illinois dispensaries are within driving distance of many places were marijuana is not yet legal.

In the first week of legalized marijuana sales, $11 million worth of cannabis were sold by the state’s 37 legal dispensaries, according to a CNN study. The dispensaries saw over 271,000 sales in that week. Overwhelming demand forced some dispensaries to temporarily shutter in order to restock.5

A portion of the sales goes into a community reinvestment fund."The successful launch of this new industry is a historic development for our state that will benefit the very communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed War on Drugs,” said Toi Hutchinson, senior advisor to Gov. Pritzker.6

On New Year's Eve 2019, the day before the law was set to enter effect, Pritzker pardoned more than 11,000 people with low-level marijuana convictions.7 That’s the right thing to do. Cornbread Hemp celebrates when prisoners of the Drug War are finally released. That’s why we have partnered with the Last Prisoner Project, to which customers can donate at checkout.

There is a graduated tax system in place for marijuana products sold in Illinois. It breaks down like this:

  • Marijuana and cannabis-infused products with less than 35 percent THC are taxed at 10 percent of the purchase price.
  • Cannabis-infused products with over 35 percent THC are taxed at 20 percent of the purchase price.
  • Marijuana with more than 35 percent THC is taxed at 25 percent of the purchase price.
  • Medical marijuana is not taxed.8

CBD Laws in Illinois

After decades of Drug War prohibition, the people of Illinois were eager to get back to their hemp roots. Once the Farm Bill of 2104 established hemp-growing pilot programs, the wheels started turning.

In August 2018, Illinois passed the Industrial Hemp Act, which lifted restrictions on industrial hemp and allowed cultivation for commercial purposes. Up until this act was passed, the only people who were able to procure CBD oil were those enrolled in the state medical marijuana program. The 2018 Farm Bill passed a few months later to fully legalize hemp nationally. 

In early 2019, Illinois Department of Agriculture adopted temporary rules under the Industrial Hemp Act that made CBD oil available to anyone over the age of 21. Under these rules, the state's definition of industrial hemp remained consistent with the federal government's limit of 0.3 percent THC.9

Hemp crops are randomly tested to make sure that the producers are abiding by the guidelines. Labeling requirements per the law include publication of independent lab tests that show the percentage of THC in manufacturers’ CBD products, such as CBD hemp gummies and CBD pills.10 

There are no defined possession limits in place for CBD oil in Illinois. Unlike marijuana, which must be sold at dispensaries, CBD oil is more readily available and can be purchased from retail stores, head shops, pharmacies, and online. Brick-and-mortar retailers are not required by law to test their wares, so it’s up to the consumer to do their own research.

Illinois’s laws remain consistent with the FDA recommendations when it comes to CBD in food and beverages. The Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act prohibits adding even approved drugs to human or animal food in interstate commerce

Can I Get CBD Oil in the Mail in Illinois?

Yes. All hemp-derived CBD oils are legal under federal law. And the U.S. Postal Service has affirmed that it is legal to ship CBD oils across state lines using the USPS.11

Buying CBD oil online is often safer than shopping retail because it is easier to do online research of reviews and test results before purchasing than it is in a physical store. Trustworthy online CBD retailers, like Cornbread Hemp, provide detailed third-party lab results for every batch of their products on their websites.

Why would someone from Illinois want to buy full spectrum CBD oil for sale online when they can walk into a legal marijuana dispensary? Because there’s one thing that you can’t find in any legal cannabis dispensary: the USDA organic seal. For many people, the USDA organic seal carries a lot of weight. But because high-THC cannabis is still illegal under federal law, the only cannabis products allowed to be USDA certified organic is hemp-derived CBD oils, like the ones made by Cornbread Hemp.

Illinois CBD Laws: Conclusion

In recent years, Illinois has made steady steps towards more progressive laws concerning cannabis, hemp, and CBD products. But it’s Illinois, so there’s going to be a few quirks. For instance, here’s two quick lists of what’s legal and not legal in Illinois. 


  • Recreational marijuana
  • Medical marijuana
  • Hemp flower
  • CBD oil


  • CBD-infused baked goods

When you’re shopping for hemp-derived CBD oil products, look for USDA certified organic, non-GMO CBD products grown from hemp cultivated with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and with no extra flavoring, preservatives, or other fillers — like Cornbread Hemp products. Delivery by the USPS and UPS is speedy, legal, and safe.

About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-Founder

Jim is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012 before co-founding Cornbread Hemp. Full author bio here.


Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legal in Illinois. However, it must be derived from industrial hemp which has less than 0.3% THC. It must also be derived from hemp that has been grown under the rules set forth in the Illinois Industrial Hemp Act.

No, you do not need a medical card to purchase CBD oil in Illinois. This type of marijuana-derived product is only available from hemp which has less than 0.3% THC.

No, you do not need a doctor's prescription or medical card to purchase CBD oil in Illinois. You can purchase it at most health food or grocery stores, smoke shops, and other retailers that sell CBD products.


1. Wright, A. “Wisconsin’s Hemp Industry” Pub: May 1918 Accessed 19 Nov 2020:

2. “Is CBD oil legal in Illinois?” Weedmaps. Pub: 5 Aug. 2020. Accessed: 19 Nov. 2020.

3. “2020 Illinois legal cannabis rules and regulations.” Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Pub: 13 Jan. 2020. Accessed: 19 Nov. 2020.

4. Andrew, Scottie and Brad Parks. “The first week of legal marijuana sales in Illinois brought in nearly $11 million.” CNN. Pub: 7 Jan. 2020. Accessed: 19 Nov. 2020.

5. US Postal Service. “Publication 52 Revision: New Mailability Policy for Cannabis and Hemp-Related Products” Effective: June 6, 2019. Accessed: 19 Nov 2020: