Ohio Legalizes Hemp and its Derivatives

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill on Tuesday (July 30) that makes it legal for farmers in the state to grow industrial hemp and also allows manufacturers and processors to extract CBD from the crop.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, DeWine said that the onus was now upon Ohio farmers to weigh their needs, assess the market for hemp, and then join the industry if they see an opportunity to make a profit.

Industrial hemp contains trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Under the new Ohio law, hemp and its derivatives, such as CBD oil, can only contain up to 0.3 percent THC.

The latest law to be signed brings an end to the mass confusion that had existed in the state due to the contradiction between Ohio’s medical marijuana law and the federal Farm Act of 2018. Under the Ohio medical marijuana law, hemp and marijuana were regarded as controlled substances, so people could only buy CBD from licensed dispensaries, and only if such people were registered patients or caregivers on the state’s medical marijuana program.

Yesterday’s signing now clears that contradiction and clears the way for Ohio residents to grow hemp, extract CBD from it and sell it on the open market.

The Ohio Farm Bureau, a leading farm group in the state, welcomed the signing of this law. They said that hemp will give farmers another option that they can consider in order to offset years in which the current crops they have been cultivating have been seeing their prices plummet.

Ohio State University also welcomed the new law. Its College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences plans to buy 2,000 industrial hemp plants for its research programs. However, Gary Pierzynski, the associate dean in charge of research and graduate programs at the university, says that the law has come a little late in the season for them to grow those plants to full maturity.

Nevertheless, the department will still plant the crop (as soon as next week) so that the researchers based at the university can have a chance to get a firsthand experience of how the plants are grown, handled and taken care of.

Pierzynski also agrees that hemp will give farmers another option whose potential profitability they can weigh against what they are currently growing in order to select the crops with the most likely chance of giving them a decent income.

The state government hopes that by next spring, farmers will have got their cultivation licenses and will start growing industrial hemp. Industry analysts expect the entire industry, and players like The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) and Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD), to welcome the signing of the Ohio Hemp Law since it opens up a huge variety of opportunities for players at different levels.

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