The CBD products that populate shelves at Walgreens, gas stations and other retailers in Illinois could be subject to lab testing under a bill introduced in the Illinois legislature Wednesday.
The bill, from Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, would require all CBD products sold in the state to meet testing requirements that would be developed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Consumers use the products to alleviate conditions like anxiety or chronic pain, but the items remain largely unregulated. Some products put themselves through third-party testing to prove they contain the promised levels of CBD, but there is no standard requirement.
Sales of CBD products are expected to reach $5 billion this year — a more than 700% increase from last year, according to Chicago-based cannabis research firm Brightfield Group. By 2023, it could grow to $23.7 billion.
States have taken various approaches to regulating CBD products. Indiana, for example, requires CBD labels to have QR codes that link to information about the batch, such as its ingredients. A California bill would require manufacturers of food containing CBD to prove the hemp it came from had been grown within a regulated industrial hemp program.
Chicago-based LeafyQuick, a retailer of CBD products, only sells products that have been tested, said co-founder Rahul Easwar. But the customers are rarely concerned about that.
“When we tell them, ‘Hey, this is third-party tested,’ it’s more like, ‘OK great, but tell me what flavor you have,’” he said. “It’s more of an afterthought or it’s not a thought at all.”
Since customers aren’t demanding to know what’s in their CBD products, a state-mandated test would help ensure consumers are buying safe products, Easwar said.
“That puts the level of control at a higher level than whatever the consumer is demanding right now,” he said. “Consumers are (becoming) aware they should be asking about these things, especially when they’re ingesting the product.”