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CBD in Illinois: Official Buyers Guide

CBD may be legal in Illinois, but laws and regulations still govern its use. This article extensively covers what you need to know about CBD in Illinois.

CBD in Illinois

Hemp for Future is research-focused. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

In need of high-quality CBD in Illinois but have no idea where to get it?

If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Finding the right CBD supplier amidst the plethora of CBD sellers in Illinois can be quite hectic, which is why we prepared a comprehensive guide.

From CBD laws to finding marijuana dispensaries, we’ll explore almost if not everything you’ve always wanted to know about CBD in Illinois.

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Is CBD Legal in Illinois? (CBD Laws and Regulations, IL)


CBD Legality




Yes, CBD is legal in Illinois. The “Land of Lincoln” is considered the most equity-centric state as far as CBD legalization is concerned.

That’s because while most states legalized CBD and hemp-derived products through public referendums, Illinois legalized it through state legislation.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

Similar to other states, CBD wasn’t always legal in Illinois. It was first legalized in 2013 through the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

Registered medical cannabis patients were only allowed 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana per two weeks. They could only purchase it from state-licensed dispensaries.

It wasn’t much, but it progressed, considering most states were yet to legalize any form of CBD.

The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program

In 2016, Illinois lawmakers launched the Pilot Industrial Hemp Program. It granted the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and a select number of higher learning institutions the rights to grow hemp for research.

These institutions were required to compile and present their findings to the IDOA.

The 2018 Farm Bill Act

Marijuana laws in Illinois took an even better turn in 2018 after the Industrial Hemp Act Bill was passed. The bill lifted all state restrictions on industrial hemp growth, allowing individuals within Illinois to grow hemp for commercial purposes.

In 2019, CBD laws in Illinois became even better after lawmakers passed the Low THC Hemp Extract Act, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize the sale, use, and possession of CBD.

Here’s a breakdown of the current CBD laws in Illinois since the 2018 Farm Bill:

Possession: CBD buyers in Illinois must be 21 and above. A single buyer can purchase up to one ounce of dry CBD and up to 5 grams of CBD-derived products in concentrate form. 

They can also purchase cannabis-infused products such as edibles with up to 500mg of THC.

Cultivation: All CBD cultivators in Illinois are required to obtain the Cultivation center license from the IDOA. It permits CBD growth on up to 21,000 square feet of canopy land and has three-year validity. 

The Craft Grower License is a separate license allowing CBD cultivators to grow, cure, and even package CBD and hemp-derived products in Illinois.

Sale: Although recreational and medical marijuana is allowed, all sellers must obtain a dispensing license from the IDFPR. Anyone infusing CBD concentrates on other products to make items like edibles must have an infuser license, which costs $5,000. 

The infusing facility must be owned by individuals who’ve resided in Illinois for the past five years. Also, to get any of the licenses, CBD sellers must possess at least 51% of the business.

Illinois CBD Possession Limits

Illinois MMJ cardholders may possess up to 2.5 ounces of CBD over two weeks, and they can always apply for a waiver allowing them to possess more within the same period.

CBD laws in Illinois are also quite flexible when it comes to recreational use. Illinois residents can possess up to 30grams of CBD, while non-residents are allowed 15grams. One can also possess 5grams of cannabis concentrate CBD products or 500mg of THC-infused products.

However, you have to be 21+ to possess any form of Cannabis in Illinois. Also, all CBD used in Illinois must be from within the state, and you’re not allowed to smoke or vape it in public.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois

Although anyone 21+ doesn’t require a medical marijuana card to purchase or possess CBD in Illinois, getting this card gives you excellent benefits. For instance, in Illinois, medical marijuana cardholders can purchase larger CBD amounts than recreational users.

They also get their CBD products at a lower price than other users and can even grow their own. With that said, here’s a step by step breakdown of how to get a medical marijuana card in Illinois:

Get Approved

To get an MMJ card, you must first prove you were diagnosed with at least one of the qualifying conditions.

According to the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, qualifying conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • ALS
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Causalgia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Dystonia
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • PTSD
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal cord disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Terminal illnesses

To prove you have a qualifying condition, get a state-approved physician to complete and mail a medical cannabis certificate to the Department Division of Medical Cannabis on your behalf.

Complete a Marijuana Card Application

Once you get your medical cannabis certificate, complete your marijuana card application form, and attach your certificate to it. The application fee varies depending on the duration covered.

You can either pay $100 for a year-long MMJ card, $200 for a two-year card, or get a three-year card at $300. Note, MMJ card application fee is non-refundable and separate from the physician fee.

You’ll also need to prove you’re an Illinois resident. So, besides the medical cannabis certificate, ensure you attach the following documents to your application:

  • A color photocopy of your Illinois state ID, a driver’s license, or a U.S. passport as proof of age and identity
  • A bank statement or utility bill from the last two months as proof of residency
  • A fingerprint consent form

Note, all medical marijuana card applications must now be submitted online.

Get Qualified and Wait

Once you submit your application, all that’s left to do is wait for your MMJ card. In the past, it would take up to 90 days as applications were sent via mail. 

But now that all applications are completed online, the process is much faster, and you’ll get a temporary card within 24 hours. Your actual card will be processed in 4-6 weeks.

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Finding Marijuana Dispensaries in Illinois

Now that you have your medical marijuana card, here’s how to find medical marijuana dispensaries in the Land of Lincoln:

Search Online: An online search is the most convenient and easiest way to find medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois. Use Google or any other search engine and type in “medical marijuana dispensaries near me” to get a list of dispensaries near you

Alternatively, use sites with dedicated search tools for medical marijuana. Note, some of the shops you’ll find may also sell their products online.

Local Stores: Although they’re not actual medical marijuana dispensaries, vape stores, natural health outlets, and head shops in Illinois often offer CBD products.


While our guide covers nearly everything you need to know about CBD in Illinois, you may still have unaddressed concerns.

Check out these frequently asked questions about CBD for answers to questions you may still have:

How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Illinois?

Whether you need recreational or medical cannabis, you need to be at least 21 to buy CBD in Illinois.

How much cannabis can I grow at home?

Legally qualifying medical marijuana patients in Illinois can cultivate up to five cannabis plants of at least five inches in their household. The limit applies to the entire household. 

Although it might not seem like much, five cannabis plants are enough to produce medical marijuana for your whole household.

Where can I use my marijuana in Illinois?

While medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, you can only use it privately. You’re not allowed to smoke or vape in public.

That means its use is prohibited in bars, clubs, and other entertainment joints, and you can only use your marijuana within your residence.

How can I obtain a grow license in marijuana?

Individuals wishing to cultivate cannabis can apply for a cultivation center license from the Illinois State Department of Agriculture. Infusers can also get the craft grower license from the same organization. 

Next Steps

Looking at the current laws and regulations of CBD in Illinois, it’s safe to say the “Land of Lincoln” is indeed a CBD-lovers’ haven.

Our guide covered all aspects you need to consider, from possession to cultivation laws and even where and how to find MMJ dispensaries.

Are you thinking of getting your first dose of CBD in Illinois? Check out our recommendations for high-quality CBD products. 

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Last Updated on May 10, 2021 by admin



About the author 

Justin Powell

Justin Powell founded Hemp For Future to give direct answers to many of the questions surrounding THC, CBD, and everything in between. He’s been at the forefront of CBD advocacy for years, and as the go-to guru for many people, he decided to pour all his knowledge into Hemp For Future. He’s here to tell you about the best CBD gummies, how to stay under the legal THC allowance, and the core differences between commercial and in-home marijuana growth.

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