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Ohio’s Proposed Hemp Legislation Draws Much Criticism

Cannabis Dispensary

Ohio law doesn’t differentiate hemp from marijuana. Senate Bill 57, some say, is too restrictive. According to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, even if CBD is derived from hemp, it can only be sold at state licensed dispensaries.

Senate Bill 57 may leave some Ohio farmers that want to grow hemp in the dark due to changes in the legislation, according to Cincinnati.com. Some of the rules within Senate Bill 57 are in line with what’s required by federal law. It also separates hemp from marijuana.

Other provisions in the legislation would require those wanting to grow and/or process products of the hemp plant such as clothes, rope, CBD products and other items, to have a special license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Some revisions would require processors to be approved for a license only when “financial responsibility” can be proved.

The bill would also require fees to be set for licensees as well as equipment, experience and land/facility requirements. Some argue that these new requirements would ensure that the program would be a success.

Representative Kyle Koehler said, “We’re entering a new realm with this product. We’re trying to do this in a way the federal government will approve and at the same time we’re trying to help farmers move into this without causing an issue.”

Others say that these strict stipulations will shy some farmers away from the program. Some think that the new hemp program could hinder the state’s medical marijuana program.

What farmers in Ohio have experience growing hemp? Unless they’ve relocated from a state where they’ve cultivated hemp before – none. Hemp’s been illegal in Ohio for decades, like much of the rest of the country.

With all of the turmoil surrounding Ohio’s hemp program, it’s not likely that a single hemp seed will be planted until 2020.