Ohio Legalizes CBD Oil And Hemp
Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill that allows the cultivation of industrial hemp in Ohio and legalizes the manufacturing and sale of CBD products.
Ohio’s Department of Agriculture must create rules for a hemp program before farmers can begin planting. The department says it needs $12 million to start a testing facility and to bring lab technicians on board.
DeWine said Tuesday that it’s now up to farmers to enter the new industry.
“This is a decision that farmers have to make based on what their particular needs are and what’s in their best interest, so this crop is just an additional crop that they can now legally grow. They’re gonna have to see if there’s a market for that.”
Hemp contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana, another plant in the cannabis family. CBD products, which are touted for their therapeutic effects, can contain just .3% THC under the new law.
Under Ohio’s medical marijuana law, which went into effect in the fall, hemp and CBD were considered the same as marijuana and therefore banned from sale outside of state-approved dispensaries.
Ohio legislators quickly moved to approve the products after the federal government legalized hemp cultivation last year.
Ohio’s leading farm group applauded the bill’s signing. The Ohio Farm Bureau says industrial hemp will give farmers another crop option and potential revenue stream that could offset “years of declining commodity prices.”
Gary Pierzynski, the associate dean for research and graduate programs at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, agrees that farmers are set to benefit.
“We always like the producers, the farmers to have choices in terms of what crops they have at their disposal to grow,” Pierzynski says. “So if the prices are low in one area, perhaps they could go to something like this to keep their income at an acceptable level.”
Ohio State is also buying 2,000 hemp plants for research, but Pierzynski says it’s too late in the season to grow the plants to normal maturity.
“We’re still going to be planting, as soon as next week,” he says. “Just to get our researchers familiar with the crop, how to handle it, how to plant it, how to take care of it, so to speak.”
Ohio Legislature Passes Bill Legalizing CBD Oil And Hemp
The Ohio General Assembly has passed a measure that would allow Ohio farmers and university researchers to grow industrial hemp and would legalize sales of hemp-derived cannabidiol oil, or CBD.
Federal legislation last year removed hemp from the list of federally controlled substances and now treats the low-THC version of the cannabis plant like other agricultural crops. But Ohio’s recent medical marijuana law doesn’t differentiate between marijuana and hemp – leading to confusion among retailers.
Despite guidance released last year by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which clarified its ban on CBD oil, many retailers refused to stop selling the product. The state said it would not enforce the ban.
The newly passed Ohio legislation would allow for cultivation of hemp as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, the cannabis compound that gives marijuana its high. It would be regulated by the state.
State Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) says Ohio is one of a handful of states that hadn’t previously allowed hemp cultivation.
“It is imperative that Ohio moves quickly so that our farmers can take advantage of a domestic hemp marketplace and catch up with our neighboring states,” Koehler says.
Ohio farmers and the business community backed the bill.
The measure was sent to Gov. Mike DeWine for consideration. He’s expected to sign it into law soon, and it would take effect immediately.