What a difference a week makes. Last week I wrote a piece about the failure of Ohio lawmakers to pass regulations for growing hemp in the state after having ample time to do so. At the time, the consensus was that the legislation would be taken up again when state reps returned in the fall.
Now, I’m not saying that Ohio lawmakers read my piece, saw the folly of their ways, and changed course; but I’m not saying that didn’t happen either.
On Wednesday of this week, the legislation to legalize/regulate hemp growing and clarify CBD rules in the state passed through both chambers of the state legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Mike DeWine.
“The vote was presented Wednesday rather than wait till legislators returned in September, which [would] have pushed the program out for another year before farmers could participate,” Tim Johnson of Cannabis Safety First told The Marijuana Times. “The House realized the industry needed to be moved up to implement the program now for a start next spring. In a vote of 88-3 the House passed their version of the revised Senate bill. The bill then went to the Senate for a concurrence vote which passed unanimously again. We are anticipating the governor will sign the bill early this coming week with an emergency request, by the Ohio Hemp Farmers Cooperative, to make the bill effective immediately rather than wait the traditional 60-90 day period.”
“It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects,” the sponsor of SB 57, State Senator Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), said in a statement. “This is an incredible opportunity for our farmers to help diversify their crops by allowing them to grow legal hemp.”
“It’s a great move forward for the farming industry and will also help clarify the current laws on hemp products,” E.R. Beach, the owner of 4 Hemptations locations in southwest Ohio, told The Marijuana Times.
“[Ohio Hemp Farmers] Cooperative members expressed the importance for banking, field preparations, equipment purchases, preparation for applications and current operational CBD small business protections [that] need to be implemented upon the governor signing the bill,” Tim told us.
“With the passage of the bill, Ohio will see another industry opening many doors for business and employment opportunities. The Ohio Agriculture Department Director will now have 6 months to promulgate the statutes and rules governing the program,” he said.
Now that regulations are on their way to the Governor’s desk, hopefully a lot of confusion that had surrounded the Ohio CBD industry will be cleared up and retailers in the state can get back to helping people who might benefit from CBD.