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Ohio struggles to pass CBD, Hemp legislation despite support

Almost all the farmers in Columbus, Ohio have made it a serious business to grow hemp with the believe that the plant that was once almost irrelevant and like a taboo will soon become a profitable plat to grow. Crops like wheat, corn and soybean no longer turn in profits, but plants like the hemp could turn in thousands of dollars per acre of land. And because of this, many entrepreneurs and farmers have made it a great business and have invested quite a lot into growing the plant.

While places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia have made the growing of hemp a very serious business based off the pilot program in the 2014 Farm Bill, Ohio has delayed in passing its bill on whether to allow the cultivation of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products or not. According to the House Speaker Larry Householder, the bill won’t be passed before the fall at least. That expression implies that the production or custody of CBD products is illegal and under the scope of OMMCP – Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. Also, it implies that hemp is not allowed to be cultivated in the state this year.

Ever since a extract from the hemp plant, which is found in CBD products have been researched and found to be medicinal and very good for wellness, the popularity of CBD products have skyrocketed and CBD has been added to virtually everything; water, lotion and more. Many consumers of the products have attested to it that CBD does not only soothe aching joints, it likewise eases anxiety and helps with other ailments.

The CBD found in retail stores is said to be cannabis but with little percentage of the substance that is responsible for highness in it, which is THC – CBD only has 0.3 percent or less of THC. CBD can likewise be gotten from the flowers of marijuana.

While the Farm Bill passed in 2018 exempted hemp and hemp-derived products from the list of federal controlled substances, Ohio is yet to adopt this bill, thus still considers hemp to be marijuana and illegal. In August 2018, the pharmacy board of Ohio released a statement which highlighted that the only way CBD can be sold is through the licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The statement, however, has led to a confusion and many of those who have these products in store have kept them away why some still sell them though.

The Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association executive director, Beth Wymer said that why some law-abiding residents are willing to put away these products, they are frustrated because despite the state’s non-support for these products some still sell them.

Wymer added and I quote: “If this bill does not get to the governor, does that mean that all of the locations in Ohio that are selling this very openly are going to be visited by local law enforcement or the state pharmacy board and told to pull inventory? Or is it OK for me to tell our members ‘it’s OK for you to sell it?”

The moment the bill is passed and adopted, people in Ohio would be able to sell CBD products, but the Department of Agriculture will be responsible for setting up the testing requirements for these products to ensure that the proper percentages of allowed substance are used and action may be required from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) too. In addition, Ohio’s State College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is ready to test run the growing of hemp once the bill is signed by Gov. DeWine. The body have marked out 4 places where it intends to grow hemp – Willard (Huron Country), Wooster, Piketon and London. Different locations are chosen to see which varieties of hemp will thrive in which parts of the state, putting factors related to farming into consideration – water, pest control, seeding rates and so on.

Gary Pierzynski, the associate dean for research and graduate programs at the college also mentioned that all the college is waiting for is an approval from the government, after with the college will be ready to serve the producers of hemp.

Before the bill is signed, the Department of Agriculture has been given six months to pen down all the rules and regulations that will guide the growing of hemp, which would be submitted for federal approval. The rules are set to be released in August

Although the delay may set farmers aback, Householder concluded by saying he his confident that farmers will turnup and start growing the crop the moment they are given a green light.

Expressing his concern, the president of Ohio Farmers Union, Joe Logan said some things about the requirements and licensing restrictions added to the bill. He said: “It appears as though that the power brokers, the hemp groups that have percolated up out of vapor, have engineered this and lobbied hard to establish it in a certain way to give certain entities a leg up, I hate to see the legislature fall prey to that.”

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