- Ohio’s governor has legalized the sale, manufacturing, and cultivation of industrial hemp in the state.
- This new law adds a new crop that farmers can profit from.
Every state is finding its own path in the legalization of marijuana, though not all areas are ready to do so. Considering the recent information released about the effects of CBD in the industry, Governor Mike DeWine has decided to sign a bill that makes it possible for industrial hemp to be cultivated in Ohio. This bill also legalized the sale and manufacturing of CBD products.
Before farmers are able to start their hemp crops, the Department of Agriculture in Ohio has to develop rules for a hemp program. To develop a testing facility and hire the lab technicians needed, the department has said that they will need $12 million. At this point, DeWine states that the responsibility is on the farmers to get involved.
“This is a decision that farmers have to make based on what their particular needs are and what's in their best interest, so this crop is just an additional crop that they can now legally grow. They're gonna have to see if there's a market for that.”
CBD products, by law, cannot contain more than 0.3% THC to be categorized as a CBD remedy. Hemp, while being part of the cannabis family, only contains trace amounts of THC. With the new medical marijuana laws in Ohio, both hemp and CBD are on the same level as marijuana, which means that only state-approved dispensaries can sell these products. The legislators in Ohio were quick to approve these products after hemp was legalized by the federal government at the end of last year.
The Ohio Farm Bureau explained that the legalization of industrial hemp offers farmers a new crop option to profit from, and that revenue alone could counteract “years of declining commodity prices.” Gary Pierzynski, who works at the Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as the associate dean, also agrees on the benefits that this legalization offers farmers.
“We always like the producers, the farmers to have choices in terms of what crops they have at their disposal to grow. So, if the prices are low in one area, perhaps they could go to something like this to keep their income at an acceptable level.”
Even though Ohio State is purchasing 2,000 hemp plants that will be used for research, Pierzynski explained that it is now too late in the season for the plants to reach their full maturity. He stated that the college is planning to plant “as soon as next week.” Just to get our researchers familiar with the crop, how to handle it, how to plant it, how to take care of it, so to speak.