The much-awaited bill for legalizing CBD products and hemp in the state of Ohio has been passed on Wednesday by the Ohio General Assembly. It was voted 88-3 in favor of legalizing hemp and CBD products. Under the current state law of Ohio, hemp and CBD products fall into the Schedule 1 drugs category and are prohibited as they, similar to Marijuana, come from the plant cannabis. The new bill is said to distinguish hemp and CBD products from Marijuana on the basis that they have lower levels of THC and to exclude it from the controlled substances.
Under the Federal Farm Bill that was passed in 2018, hemp and CBD products were legalized in most of the states with Ohio being left out. The Senate 57 Bill that legalizes hemp and CBD products in the state of Ohio will comply with the Federal Farm Bill. Tim Johnson, co-founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce stated in his testimony, “ For the farmers and small businesses alike, let the market work… a successful program for all Ohioans”
Even though the bill has been passed, it has come under criticism due to the restrictions it imposes on cultivating hemp. Kyle Koehler, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee quoted, “ We feel that the bill does what the federal government needs while creating as few regulations as possible”. Three main regulations have been imposed on cultivating the products - the hemp and CBD products must have less than 0.3 THC, cultivators must have a valid license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the state should keep a track of the hemp growing areas.
The new bill will come into effect immediately as opposed to the 90 days since Ohio is one of the very few states where hemp and CBD products are not yet legalized. This new move is considered to be a blessing for the farmers as the hemp yields more profit compared to other crops. The government also plans to set up numerous programs for the cultivation of hemp and to monitor it.
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