Back in September 2018, Ohio made a curious move to ban the sales of CBD oil throughout the Buckeye State. This made selling CBD products like gummies, oils and tinctures illegal under Ohio law, unless the CBD is purchased through a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
Naturally, since its inception, the Ohio CBD ban has hurt numerous businesses that sell the oil in their stores. And now, some businesses are finally starting to battle the ruling.
Businesses strike back
WHIOTV7 has uncovered a business owner, Lori Harrod, who has taken this CBD ban to court. Harrod is an ambassador for Zilis, a CBD company that licensees their brand to store owners and budding entrepreneurs. Zilis has hired an attorney to handle the matter. The attorney argues that CBD is legal in Ohio because of the Farm Bill, passed in 2014.
They had this to say in an official statement to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy: “Products derived from hemp grown in federally authorized state pilot programs are exempted from the purview of the controlled substances act by the 2014 Farm Bill."
For those unaware, the 2014 Farm Bill included a section that allowed for cultivation of industrialized hemp. “We are totally, 100 percent still legal,” Harrod told WHIO. “We are part of the 2014 Farm Bill.”
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as “CBD,” is the major non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, and it has been found to offer a wide range of medicinal benefits as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent. It also has the potential to provide neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti-tumor effects. Other benefits of CBD include pain and inflammation relief, antipsychotic effects, reduction of anxiety, aid to fight cancer growth, relieving nausea, treating seizures and other neurological disorders, lowering incidence of diabetes, and promoting cardiovascular health.
Although THC does have certain benefits that cannot be achieved through CBD use alone, studies have shown that a combination of high CBD with lower THC levels result in the medicinal benefits of both, without any noticeable psychotropic effects from THC. So, for those who are interested in the benefits of medical marijuana, but are wary of feeling the “high” associated with THC, you can be assured that there are medical marijuana products available to meet their needs.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, often shortened to "THC,” is the cannabinoid most often associated with medical marijuana. THC elicits the psychotropic (“high”) effect in users. The therapeutic potential of THC is significant and expansive. The compound can act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant and sleep aid, among other benefits.
Most individuals find the "high" from THC to be very enjoyable in moderation, but others find the feeling to be slightly unpleasant. With that said, medical marijuana still offers significant medical benefits to people who want to avoid the "high" feeling. After all, THC is just one of many cannabinoids. Evidence suggests that use of the cannabinoid CBD can elicit many of the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana without having the euphoric or dysphoric effects.
Bad ban, good ban?
Despite being sold throughout stores in Ohio for several years now, CBD was inexplicably banned after the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program was asked about the legality of imported CBD oil in stores.
This was the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy's official statement regarding CBD oil's legality in Ohio, issued back in September:
"All marijuana products, including CBD oil, can only be dispensed in a licensed Medical Marijuana Control Program dispensary. Those marijuana products will have to comply with the rules and regulations of the program. All products must have a known source, as well as known quantities of active ingredients. Testing procedures will be conducted by testing laboratories licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce."
This new rule has a lot of people scratching their heads, from store owners who are no longer sure the CBD they have on their shelves will get them in hot water with authorities to patients who use CBD regularly to calm their anxiety, help them sleep better at night or ease their emotional or physical pain. Naturally, a lot of our patients and readers have expressed anger and frustration over this new regulation.
That being said, there are some bright sides to the ban. At current, CBD oil is not tested for purity, pesticides or other toxic chemicals. This means that a bottle of CBD oil doesn't even need to contain said oil because it is fully unregulated by the FDA, or the state. Though some CBD manufacturers take precautions to ensure they are providing quality CBD products to customers, some companies (usually the ones you see in head shops) might not be as up-and-up when it comes to testing and accountability.
As a result of this lack of regulation, CBD oils can literally vary between bottle, in both potency and consistency. Some CBD oils are much like questionable imported olive oil, containing none of the chemical compounds labeled on the bottle.
How can I fight Ohio's CBD ban?
Every voice matters in this fight, and the more patients who contact their local lawmakers about legalizing CBD and CBD sales in Ohio will bring a much-needed vocal proponent to this battle.
Firstly, you are going to need to find all of your local representatives. Each city has local government officials, and though many support marijuana legalization, many also do not. It is helpful to know which government officials are on your side with this issue, and which are not.
Even if a rep is pro-marijuana, that does not mean they know about the recent CBD ruling, and therefore they could be an even greater voice for you if you contact them and let them know how upset you are about the CBD ban. Some politicians may not support marijuana, but do support industrial hemp as a farming issue, so don't rule out contacting someone who may be anti-pot.
The Cannabis Voter Project has compiled a comprehensive website that lets voters know exactly where their politicians stand on the issue of marijuana. This resource would be a good starting point for seeing where your locals reps stand. Click here to give that a look. There is also this handy utility to search for your reps. This website combines all sections of government and allows you to search each branch individually.
Once you have your reps in hand, it's time to reach out! Thankfully, we've written up a handy resource as to how to proceed next. This walkthrough will guide you through emailing, calling and writing your local representatives.
In the meantime, if you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.