As we have reported in the past, the OMMCP's (Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program) language created a conflict between hemp and cannabis products. Federally, hemp was reclassified and distinguished between cannabis allowing farmers in states across the country to establish hemp cultivation and CBD retail; meanwhile, Ohio prohibited these industries.
Just a few weeks back we covered the legislative push in Ohio to legalize hemp cultivation and CBD retail to reflect the change of legal status at the federal level. Legislatures in the Ohio House and Senate passed Senate Bill 57 aimed at lifting the restrictions blocking farmers in Ohio from growing industrial hemp and retail shops from distributing CBD products derived from hemp.
The bill had been awaiting Gov. Mike DeWine's signature for about a week. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Gov. DeWine signed Ohio's hemp legalization bill into law today at the Ohio State Fair! The law will go into effect immediately, lifting the restrictions that farmers and retailers have faced since the passage of the Agricultural Farm Bill in 2018: CBD would be removed from Ohio's controlled substances list, hemp cultivation would be allowed in Ohio, and it would also allow colleges and universities in Ohio to begin their own hemp cultivation for research purposes.
While the law would immediately allow the sales of CBD products in Ohio, the conflict that will arise is that there are no hemp cultivators in the state of Ohio that would currently be able to provide the hemp for CBD product manufacturing in Ohio. While stores can now begin stocking and selling CBD oils and other products, food safety inspectors will be reviewing the claims made by CBD products that will be available in commercial shops. As we have covered in the past, there can be significant medicinal differences between hemp-derived CBD products and the cannabis-derived CBD products that can be found in Ohio dispensaries.
Agriculture officials in Ohio will have six months to draft Ohio's rules and regulations surrounding hemp and CBD, with the goal of having the program in place so that farmers can begin planting hemp seeds in the Spring of 2020. Once the program is up and running, hemp cultivated in Ohio can then be processed into CBD products made right here in Ohio.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has stated that hemp has the potential to be Ohio's third-largest crop just behind corn and soybeans. Analysts in the industry expect the U.S. hemp market to grow from $4.6 billion to $26 billion by the year 2023. This will be a significant help for Ohio farmers, and will allow patients access to safe and tested CBD products outside of Ohio dispensaries.
A significant focus of the bill will be to allow research on hemp and CBD immediately in Ohio, with The Ohio State University already planning to purchase about 2,000 hemp plants in the next week. Hemp has been found to have a number of different applications, including textiles, food, bioplastics, insulation and biofuel, and with proper research we may unlock even more uses.
Much of the bill leaves the details of the program in the hands of the Ohio Department of Agriculture who will be responsible for establishing laws and regulations surrounding who can grow it, how much licenses will cost, etc. Hemp lobbying groups, including the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and the Ohio Hemp Association, will also now jump into action to help regulators shape the rules that will be established.
For the time being, you can purchase legal, high-quality CBD products from our partner, the family-owned Joy Organics based out of Colorado.
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.