Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has officially signed a new piece of cannabis-related legislation. Known as Senate Bill 57, the new law will make it legal for farmers and researchers to grow and utilize hemp plants. Additionally, the new bill will also legalize the sale of hemp-derived CBD and CBD products—as long as they do not contain more than a trace amount of THC.
Ohio’s New Hemp Rules
Senate Bill 57 introduces at least three key new rules. All of them are related to hemp plants, and as a product of hemp, CBD. These key changes include:
- It will now be legal for farmers in Ohio to grow and produce industrial hemp plants.
- Similarly, university researchers will also be allowed to grow, process, handle, and work with low-THC industrial hemp plants.
- And finally, the new bill will legalize the sale of hemp-derived CBD and CBD products.
The biggest restriction on all this hemp-growing and producing activity is the amount of THC present in the plants. Specifically, the new law requires that to be legal under the terms of Senate Bill 57, all hemp plants and products derived from hemp plants must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Beyond that, farmers and researchers who want to grow or work with hemp will need to be licensed by the state. And according to local news sources, that process could take a while.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, it will take at least a few months to establish a workable licensing process. And in the meantime, nobody will be allowed to grow hemp legally.
For now, authorities estimate that it will take at least until spring 2020 before they can start issuing licenses. As a result, the state will not see any hemp production until that time, at the earliest.
The state’s Department of Agriculture has also launched a website devoted to the new laws about hemp. The site will reportedly post information about the licensing system once it is established.
Changing Laws About Hemp and CBD
Ohio’s new hemp and CBD laws are the newest in what has become a very active year for hemp and CBD law around the country. In many ways, these rapid changes were initiated late last year with the Farm Bill was signed into law.
That bill removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. Additionally, it paved the way for the cultivation, processing, and research of hemp. The Farm Bill even opens the door to farmers being able to receive subsidies for growing hemp.
Importantly, the Farm Bill also allows the interstate commerce of hemp, making it possible for people to travel with hemp-derived CBD products.
As with Ohio’s new laws, the key to the Farm Bill of 2018 is that it applies only to hemp plants with minimal amounts of THC.
Despite the Farm Bill’s legalization of agricultural hemp—and presumably its by-product CBD—there is still a lot of confusion. For example, authorities at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport arrested people earlier this year for trying to travel with CBD.
Similarly, a 69-year-old woman was arrested for carrying CBD tincture with her when she visited Walt Disney World in May.