COLUMBUS - State Senators Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) and Brian Hill (R- Zanesville) announced today the unanimous Senate passage of their legislation that would create an industrial hemp program in Ohio administered by the Department of Agriculture.
Senate Bill 57 clarifies that hemp and hemp derived products, including CBD oil may be sold legally in Ohio.
"It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects," said Huffman. "This is an incredible opportunity for our farmers to help diversify their crops by allowing them to grow legal hemp."
With the recent passing of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp has been removed from the list of scheduled substances banned by the federal government and can now be grown as a commodity crop throughout the United States.
“This an exciting opportunity for farmers to expand the crops they plant,” said Hill. “Farmers can rotate hemp to improve soil health while earning more profit than many traditional cover crops. I’m eager to see all the ways that Ohio will benefit from this legislation.”
Many states have adopted a hemp pilot program, permitted by federal law, so that farmers in their jurisdictions could begin planting and harvesting hemp. Hemp can be used in over 25,000 commercial products including feed, fiber, biofuels, clothing and plastic.
“Farmers are always looking for new options to diversify their operations,” said Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “We applaud Senators Hill and Huffman for introducing legislation to help bring industrial hemp to Ohio and to allow farmers to explore the potential of this quickly growing market opportunity.”
This legislation will now be sent to the House for further consideration.