LEADERBOARD

A new bill introduced in the Illinois legislature Wednesday aims to regulate the lab testing required for CBD products that currently populate the shelves of retailers throughout the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, the bill would require all CBD products sold in the state to meet testing requirements that would be developed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “This legislation would give the Department of Agriculture the ability to step in to make sure we are selling products that are safe for people to use,” Morgan said.

The CBD industry is exploding, but the items remain largely unregulated. While many brands claim and often do put their products through third-party laboratory testing, but no standard requirement exists.

Coco Meers, co-founder of Chicago-based CBD company Equilibria, told the Chicago Tribune that health and safety concerns surrounding CBD are wide-ranging. Meers said that there could be anything from harmful pesticides or heavy metals in the products, or the cream a consumer buys might not actually contain the amount of promised CBD, robbing a consumer of any therapeutic benefits.

The proposed bill would require any CBD products for sale in Illinois that don’t have the required tests to be removed from store shelves and online shops immediately, Morgan said. Potential fines start at $1,000 and increase with more violations. The fines collected would go to a newly created CBD Safety Fund, which would be used for enforcement.

Cannabis research firm Brightfield Ground is Illinois-based, located in Chicago, and the firm expects sales of CBD products to reach $5 Billion USD this year alone, more than a 700% increase from 2018. By 2023, that number could grow as large as $23.7 Billion.

Other states that have taken various approaches to regulating CBD products include Indiana, who for example, requires CBD labels to have QR codes that link to information about the batch, such as its ingredients. A California bill currently would require manufacturers of food containing CBD to prove the hemp it came from had been grown within a regulated industrial hemp program.

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