Residents of the state of Ohio can finally breathe a breath of fresh air or inhale a nice puff of their CBD vape after today’s passage of Senate Bill 57. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law at the Ohio State Fair on July 30, 2019.
Ohio Senate Bill 57 (SB 57) decriminalizes hemp and paves the way for the development of a new hemp industry in the state. Previously, shops and consumers have been persecuted to raids, seizures and unlawful acts of hemp CBD that was legal under the Farm Bill. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will administer the newly-created hemp program.
All hemp and hemp-derived products are now legal, removing hemp from the controlled substances list. The bill includes an emergency clause that allows retailers to sell hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil, immediately.
The Ohio hemp program also sets up a licensing structure for farmers who are interested in growing the crop and those interested in processing it. It will also allow for universities to grow and cultivate the crop for research purposes. ODA will also be testing CBD and hemp products for safety and accurate labeling to protect Ohio consumers.
“Industrial hemp will give Ohio farmers another crop option to help them diversify their farms and possibly find another stream of revenue to offset years of declining commodity prices,” said Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.” He continued, “We are pleased that the state legislature passed and Governor DeWine signed SB 57 and we look forward to working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture as the program begins to take shape.”
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has created a web page to explain the hemp program and gather information from those interested in growing or processing the crop.
SB 57 was originally approved by the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in June and passed the House floor on an 88-3 vote on July 17th. After passing through the committee and House floor passage, Governor Mike DeWine immediately signed the bill into law today, July 30th.
Hemp advocacy group The US Hemp Roundtable rallied thousands of hemp supporters in the state to take action and contact their representatives.
Jonathan Miller, General Counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable, commented, “Ohio’s passage of a pro-hemp, pro-CBD law is an important milestone for the national hemp industry. Not only does Ohio become the 47th state to legalize hemp, but the bill’s overwhelming support demonstrates the public’s strong aversion to agencies who want to ban CBD.”