Ohio lawmakers vote to allow hemp production, broader CBD sales

Ohio legislators have agreed to allow hemp production and CBD products to be sold outside medical marijuana dispensaries.

A bill awaiting the signature of Gov. Mike DeWine would allow CBD to be sold outside dispensaries. Right now, the product is legal in Ohio but only in regulated dispensaries, according to an order last year from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

Highlights of the Ohio hemp bill:

  • CBD food, dietary supplements and “any other product containing one or more cannabinoids derived from hemp” are allowed.
  • The Ohio Department of Agriculture will set licensing fees for hemp producers and processors.
  • Licenses are not required to sell CBD or hemp products.
  • Hemp is defined as cannabis sativa with 0.33333% percent THC. The federal limit is 0.3%.
  • An 18-person “hemp marketing program” will be created.
  • Drug felons are banned from growing or processing hemp for 10 years.

Ohio farming groups generally supported the bill, though the state Cannabis Chamber of Commerce warned lawmakers that the bill overregulates a new industry, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

The measure now awaits the signature of DeWine, a Republican, who has not said whether he supports it.

Ohio is one of the few states with no hemp program, though federal agriculture authorities say they’ll have rules ready within weeks to make hemp farming legal in all 50 states, regardless of whether the states have set regulations for how to grow hemp.