Ohio Lawmakers Approve CBD, Hemp Legalization Bill

Right now, it's illegal in Ohio to buy or sell CBD, a hemp extract that contains only trace amounts of THC, outside the state's medicinal marijuana program. But that will probably change soon.

The Ohio House of Representatives July 17 passed Senate Bill 57 legalizing the sale of CBD and the cultivation of hemp. That could be a big boon to farmers — and to fans of CBD who credit the substance with a host of physical and psychological benefits.

Last year, the federal government took hemp from its controlled substances list when Congress passed the Farm Bill. That cleared the way for Ohio to do the same, though current state law conflates marijuana and hemp.

In August last year, the Ohio Pharmacy Board issued guidance suggesting that hemp-derived products were only legal within the confines of the state's medicinal marijuana program, causing CBD and other products to be pulled from shelves in Cincinnati and elsewhere around the state.

In addition to farmers, retailers and CBD fans, Ohio universities could also be a big beneficiary of the proposed law. The bill would allow universities to cultivate hemp without a license — something Ohio State University is looking to do in order to study hemp cultivation.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine still needs to sign the bill into law. If he does, it will go into effect immediately.

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