Critics of a proposed bill on CBD in Illinois say the law would be a burden to the sector, which is already battling an oversupplied market and a downturn in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Midwest Hemp Coalition said in a statement it still has “major concerns” with the CBD Safety Act, and suggested that the law, if passed, will benefit marijuana companies at the expense of CBD makers.
The bill, which passed the Illinois House of Representatives 96-15 last week, would prohibit the sale of CBD products unless they have undergone lab testing, meet standards developed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and adhere to packaging and labeling rules.
State law now makes industrial hemp subject to random testing, but CBD products do not currently fall under that regime. The proposed law would change that.
Under the measure, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Police, sheriff’s departments, municipal police and the Illinois Department of Revenue would be authorized to inspect CBD manufacturers and distributors to assure they are in compliance with state rules.
Both the Midwest Hemp Coalition and Illinois Hemp Growers Association have said they support efforts aimed at product safety, but said the bill as drafted is not feasible.
Some stakeholders suggested Morgan, who has received campaign donations from marijuana interests, is looking to give that side of the cannabis industry an advantage.
The lawmaker has received a total of $30,700 from 14 companies involved with marijuana sales and research since 2017, according to campaign finance records.
Morgan denied the proposed bill has advantages the marijuana industry. “This is really pretty purely a public safety issue,” Morgan told Chicago-based DailyHerald.com. “Any industry group or business out there that is not willing to make their products safe before selling them to someone for ingesting, then we will have to disagree. … I make no apologies for passing legislation that makes products safer.”
Morgan was previously a partner at Benesch Law in Chicago, where he worked as the state coordinator for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.