The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently released a policy for cultivators regarding the use of hemp in medical and adult use cannabis products.  The complete version of the policy can be found here. The policy will be in effect through October 31, 2020, although it is subject to change at any time by the Department.

First, the policy clarifies that the term “cannabis” does not include industrial hemp as defined and authorized under the Illinois Industrial Hemp Act. Under that Act, the term “industrial hemp” means any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, which has a Delta-9 THC concentration of less than three percent, on a dry weight basis, and that has been cultivated under a license issued under the Industrial Hemp Act or is otherwise lawfully present in Illinois.

The policy provides that cannabis business organizations licensed to cultivate, grow, process, manufacture and/or infuse medical and/or adult-use cannabis (collectively, “Cannabis Cultivation Centers”) that wish to use industrial hemp (e.g., add industrial hemp CBD to cannabis products) must obtain a Hemp Processor’s Registration through the Department of Agriculture.

Once a Cannabis Cultivation Center obtains such license, it can purchase and extract industrial hemp flower and biomass from licensed growers and/or processors in Illinois or any other state with a regulated industrial hemp program. If requested by the Department of Agriculture or the Illinois State Police, Cannabis Cultivation Centers must provide a copy of the applicable hemp grower or processor’s state license for any purchased hemp flower or biomass.

The industrial hemp may be procured and/or processed in distillate or isolate form solely as an ingredient in cannabis-infused products offered for sale to licensed dispensaries, and may not be sold to dispensaries in hemp flower form.  All processed hemp derivatives must be accompanied with a certificate of analysis showing potency levels for Delta-9 THC, THCa, CBD and CBDa, and representative samples of all final products containing industrial hemp or hemp derivatives must undergo the same testing required for other medical and adult-use cannabis products.

As mentioned above, the policy is subject to change at any time by the Department of Agriculture. We will provide updates on this blog regarding any future changes.