Hemp and CBD have officially been legalized in Ohio now that Senate Bill 57 has passed.
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the new bill into law on July 30 leading to landmark cannabis legislation in the state. This new law will decriminalizes hemp, allowing farmers to safely cultivate it without facing any legal repercussions. The new hemp program will be controlled by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The law also sets up a new licensing structure so that farmers can get approved to grow cannabis. “This is an incredible opportunity for our farmers to help diversify their crops by allowing them to grow legal hemp,” Sen. Steve Huffman told Dayton Daily News. “I am excited to see how this new law will benefit the agriculture industry as well as consumers in the years to come.” The passing of SB-57 makes Ohio the 46th state to legalize hemp cultivation.
The law also makes it legal to sell CBD products in the state, as long as the products pass inspection. All products will be tested for safety and label accuracy. According to The Statehouse News Bureau, the department needs $12 million dollars in order to start its testing facility and hire on lab technicians. “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,” said DeWine.
Many are hoping this will bring new industry and income into the state. The goal is that farmers will be able to grow cannabis and the industry will be up and running by spring 2020, which will create a whole new source of revenue in Ohio.
While the state hasn’t been in the lead as far as legal cannabis, they are starting to make some serious strides. Ohio recently voted to reduce cannabis penalties and medical cannabis is finally available in the state.