Starting a Cannabis-Related Business The State of Illinois controls the licensure process for cannabis businesses. The State has authority to authorize licenses for several types of cannabis Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG Learn about CBD laws in Illinois, conditions that can be treated by CBD, and how patients in Illinois can qualify to treat chronic ailments with CBD.
Starting a Cannabis-Related Business
The State of Illinois controls the licensure process for cannabis businesses. The State has authority to authorize licenses for several types of cannabis businesses, ranging from cultivation centers to dispensing organizations. Information on the State’s application process for dispensaries can be found here. The City of Chicago is not directly involved in the State’s licensure process.
The process for creating cannabis businesses varies but generally requires obtaining licensure from the State and zoning compliance with the Zoning Board of Appeals. A brief summary of the requirements for each type of licensed cannabis business is provided below.
Function: Dispensing organizations acquire cannabis from licensed entities for the purpose of selling or dispensing cannabis products to adults over the age of 21.
Licensure: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regulates dispensary licenses and more information on the agency’s licensure process can be found agency’s licensure process can be found here.
Zoning: Dispensaries must be classified as a “special use” by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which has a lottery process for dispensary approval. The cannabis zoning ordinance and state law also provide dispensaries cannot be located within: (1) 500 feet of an elementary or secondary school, (2) 1,500 feet of another dispensary, or (3) parts of the central business district. On November 15, 2019, the Board held the first lottery for existing medical cannabis dispensaries only. As the amount of permissible dispensaries increases under state law and the Municipal Code, the Board may hold subsequent lotteries for the approval of additional dispensaries.
Function: Craft growers are authorized to cultivate, dry, cure, and package cannabis as well as perform other necessary activities to make cannabis available. Currently, Craft growers may only contain up to 5,000 square feet of cannabis canopy space.
Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers craft grower licenses and provides the license application period will be available January 7, 2020, through March 30, 2020.
Zoning: Craft growers must be classified as a “special use” by the Zoning Board of Appeals. More information on the Board and applying for a “special use” can be found here
Function: Infusers incorporate cannabis or cannabis concentrates to produce cannabis-infused products 
Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers infuser licenses and provides the license application period will be available January 7, 2020, through March 30, 2020.
Zoning: Infusers must be classified as a “special use” by the Zoning Board of Appeals. More information on the Board and applying for a “special use” can be found here.
Function: Businesses that transport cannabis on behalf of cannabis business establishments or a licensed community college vocational program.
Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers transporter licenses and provides the license application period will be available January 7, 2020, through March 30, 2020.
Function: Cultivation centers are authorized to cultivate, process, transport (unless limited by law), and perform other necessary activities to provide cannabis products to cannabis business establishments.
Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture has processed Early Approval Adult Use Cultivation Center licenses, which apply to existing medical cultivation centers seeking authority to cultivate for recreational purposes. For more information on subsequent cultivation licenses please call the Department at 217.782.2172.
Zoning: Cultivation centers must be classified as a “special use” by the Zoning Board of Appeals. More information on the Board and process for applying for a “special use” can be found here
 A cannabis-infused product is a product containing cannabis that is not intended to be smoked, such as food, topical formations, etc.
Is CBD Legal in Illinois? (2022 CBD Laws)
Illinois’s official state motto — State Sovereignty, National Union —couldn’t be a more perfect summation of its position on cannabis. The state is very progressive when it comes to marijuana and CBD laws, often leading the nation in related legislation.
So, yes, federally-approved CBD (hemp-derived and with a max of 0.3% THC) legal. Illinois also has a relatively generous medical marijuana program that permits qualified patient to use marijuana CBD (which may have higher THC). Recreational marijuana is legal for adults 21+ years old.
Illinois CBD Laws At A Glance
When it comes to CBD in Illinois, here are the big points you need to know:
• CBD is legal in Illinois.
• There are no CBD possession limits.
• Illinois has a broad medical cannabis program.
• Recreational marijuana is also legal for adults.
Is CBD Legal in Illinois?
Wanna indulge in some CBD? Go right ahead! Here in the Land of Lincoln it’s A-OK to buy, own, and use hemp CBD with less than or equal to 0.3% THC. Certain forms of marijuana are also allowed in this cannabis-receptive state.
In fact, Illinois’s been very active legislatively, especially in recent years. While it may have started a bit slowly, the state has really picked up the pace, breadth, and depth of its cannabis regulations and programs. Let’s take a brief look at how and when the state’s laws evolved.
- In 2013, Illinois established a fairly-restrictive medical cannabis program. Through the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (MCPP) permitted patients could use marijuana for certain health conditions. Over the next few years, various amendments were made to the law. These changes expanded the MCPP to allow for additional qualifying health conditions, participation of minors, and caregiver rights.
- 2014 saw the passage of the Cannabis Control Act, which both legalized industrial hemp research and defined hemp as having 0.3% THC or less.
- The Illinois legislature took measures to decriminalize cannabis in 2016. Punishment for possession of small amounts of cannabis was reduced.
- The 2018 Farm Bill federally-legalized hemp-derived CBD with 0.0-0.3% THC content. As such, it was permitted in Illinois as well.
- Later that year, Illinois passed its Industrial Hemp Act. This law removed prohibitions on industrial hemp, making commercial growth, processing, and sale of products legal. It also removed hemp from the controlled substances list.
- Additional legislation in 2018 expanded the MCPP and created the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program. The law made both of these programs permanent.
- Finally, in 2019. Illinois legalized recreational marijuana. Adults over the age of 21 can partake of cannabis. This legislation also further expanded the medical marijuana program and created a path for Illinoisans to expunge prior marijuana convictions.
Wow! They did a lot in not a lot of time!
How To Buy CBD in Illinois Legally
Don’t fret — Illinois’s a CBD-friendly state, as you know by now. Hooray! So, you can shop for CBD products at your local CBD retailers or head online. Either way, the marketplace has loads of options. Just be sure to locate a trustworthy seller and you’re good to go!
Adults can freely buy hemp CBD with no more than 0.3% THC. For cannabis of the medical variety, you’ll need a medical marijuana card from the state and shop at an authorized dispensary.
Can You Buy CBD At Brick & Mortar Stores?
Grabbing CBD-infused products while you’re at the health food store or pharmacy may be an option in the Prairie State. So is stocking up at dispensaries or other retailers. Be sure to solicit recommendations from friends, family, and wellness professionals — you only want to patronize the best local CBD vendors.
Can You Buy CBD Online?
Federal law says it’s legal to mail hemp-derived CBD with 0.0-0.3% THC to all 50 states. So, while CBD has the seal of legal approval in Illinois, you may still prefer the convenience (and selection) of heading to your nearest virtual CBD marketplace. Besides, it’s more fun to shop in your jammies, right?!
This is great news for those in Illinois who are looking for options. CBD products are readily available, at your fingertips! Point, click, enjoy CBD — it can be that simple. It can also be an exceptionally safe way to buy CBD online. At least, that’s how we roll here at Pure Craft.
Speaking of awesome online CBD shopping, check out these high-quality CBD products that’re popular near you:
Illinois CBD Program
Every state has complicated marijuana laws. With the growing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD), many people get confused when they learn about its legal status. CBD provides no psychoactive effects, making it ideal for a wide range of patients. But, as a marijuana compound, it has a murky legal status. Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between marijuana and CBD in Illinois.
Illinois CBD Rules
Under Illinois law, marijuana-based CBD falls under the medical marijuana program. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all Illinoisans — not just medical marijuana patients.
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.
For the most part, doctors are not permitted to prescribe either hemp CBD or marijuana products to their patients. This is because the federal government has not approved cannabis for medicinal use. These rules mean you must join the Illinois medical marijuana program to get CBD extracted from marijuana. But, they also suggest that you can get hemp CBD without a patient card. The gray areas in state and federal law let patients buy some forms of CBD without a recommendation.
Conditions Treated by CBD in Illinois
Since you can find hemp-based CBD in stores, you don’t have to have a certain ailment to get it. However, we recommend joining the medicinal cannabis program for its benefits. The products sold at dispensaries undergo strict quality assurance. Plus, you get the guidance of a cannabis-trained doctor. You could qualify for a patient ID if you have a condition like:
Patients with prescriptions for opioids can also qualify for medical cannabis. Read our guide to qualifying in Illinois to discover more than 40 eligible ailments.
Who Can Buy CBD Medicine?
Only Illinois residents over 18 with a patient card can get marijuana-based CBD. You can sign up for the program by following these steps:
- Get a signed certification from a doctor you have an ongoing relationship with. If your current doctor doesn’t approve of medical marijuana treatment, visit a cannabis-friendly physician. You can establish a relationship with them.
- Register online for a medical cannabis card. Visit the online application portal and follow the directions.
How Do Hemp-Based and Marijuana-Based CBD Laws Differ?
Illinois’ rules for hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD give patients broader access to care. You can buy CBD from a store if you can’t join the medical cannabis program. But, we recommend signing up if you qualify. Marijuana-based CBD offers benefits you won’t find in hemp CBD.