Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio signed a bill yesterday that legalizes the production of hemp and hemp-derived products. SB 657 decriminalizes hemp agriculture and sets up a system to license growers, processors and manufacturers.
Furthermore, the bill removes all hemp derivatives other than THC from the state’s list of controlled substances, implying that CBD oil can now be legally used as a dietary or health supplement. The bill also asks the state to return the previously confiscated CBD oil to its seller. In case you aren’t aware why these products were confiscated: In August last, Ohio’s board of pharmacy had made a rule that CBD products can only be sold at state-licensed MM dispensaries, forcing other retailers to pull-of CBD products from their shelves. Those who didn’t, ended up getting their products confiscated.
SB 657 tasks the Ohio Agriculture Department with creating an effective regulatory system to license hemp farmers/processors. As a result, the department has been diligently going through the successful hemp regulatory programs of other states. “We want to make sure that Ohio has the very best hemp program in the nation,” Dorothy Pelanda, director of the agriculture department, said adding that she anticipates that the state wouldn’t have any problems in drafting the regulations within the 6month time limit mandated by the bill.
The bill also authorizes a hemp research program aimed at studying growing methods, pathogens, pests and other issues. For this, the Ohio State University plans to purchase nearly 2,000 hemp plants.
SB 657 goes into effect immediately.