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News And Legislation

Ohio Gov. Signs Hemp & CBD Legalization Bill Into Law

Big Changes For The Buckeye State

While the rest of the country seemed to eagerly climb on board the CBD train over the past year or two, Ohio did not. Ohio had fallen behind the rest of the country when it came to hemp & CBD production- despite the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalizing hemp in December of last year, Ohio has remained stuck in the past, keeping it illegal- until today, that is. 

Fresh Wounds

Just 6 months ago, state officials decided to crack down on stores selling CBD, ordering business owners to remove CBD products from shelves or face consequences, in what’s typically called an embargo. CBD businesses were hit hard, with one CBD-infused seltzer water brand losing almost all their stock in the February raids. Despite lost inventory and lost revenue, Ohio’s CBD businesses are finally able to look forward to what’s ahead.

Just Sign On The Dotted Line

That’s because of Senate Bill 57, a bill that ends hemp and CBD prohibition in the state. SB 57 moved through Ohio’s House and Senate and is set to be signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday, July 30th at the Ohio State Fair. The new law will allow for hemp production across the state, and also legalizes hemp-derived products like CBD. Once the law goes into effect, Ohio will be the 46th state to legalize hemp & hemp products. 

While other laws in Ohio must wait for 90 days before they go into effect, SB 57 will become effective immediately once signed by the Governor without a waiting period as Ohio is far behind other states when it comes to hemp production, and so that previously embargoed goods can be returned to business owners as quickly as possible.

Big Plans Ahead

This will also allow universities and colleges across the state to potentially grow their first hemp crop this summer, although agricultural officials have yet to draft regulations, which could push plans back to next spring. SB 57 being passed into law will also open a lot of doors into hemp research, which is expected to start right away. Ohio State University has stated plans to buy 2,000 hemp plants, but since it may be too late to plant them for harvest, they’re planning on planting them for research purposes instead. 

With all of the available farmland in Ohio, a move like this could impact the state greatly. Farmers looking to diversify or change crops have an enormous opportunity on their horizons, now that hemp farming will be allowed. Hemp is a very hardy crop, resistant to drought and poor weather, making it an appealing option for the soybean-centric state. 

It remains to be seen just how big hemp and CBD production will get for Ohio, but if we had to guess we’d say that a whole lot of good is going to come from this new leaf in Ohio’s hemp history. We can’t wait to see what kind of research comes out of Ohio’s universities!


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