DeWine signs Senate Bill 57, Ohio hemp program created

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The Ohio Statehouse.

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law July 30, decriminalizing hemp and paving the way for the development of a new hemp industry in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will administer the newly-created hemp program.

Hemp is a cannabis plant that does not produce intoxicating effects, grown for its many industrial uses. Hemp contains a fiber, a grain, and oil that can be extracted for CBD, which is now being used in food and dietary supplements. The hemp program sets up a licensing structure for farmers who are interested in growing the crop and those interested in processing it. It also allows for universities to grow and cultivate the crop for research purposes.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will also be testing CBD and hemp products for safety and accurate labeling to protect Ohio consumers. The department has created a web page to explain the hemp program and gather information from those interested in growing or processing the crop.

“Industrial hemp will give Ohio farmers another crop option to help them diversify their farms and possibly find another stream of revenue to offset years of declining commodity prices. We are pleased that the state legislature passed and Gov. DeWine signed SB 57 and we look forward to working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture as the program begins to take shape,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

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