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Ohio Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp and CBD Products Moves AheadSalem-News.com Cannabis De-Classified
Hemp is a billion-dollar industry in the U.S. and is expected to more than double by 2022.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Ohio Senate Bill 57, a bill that would decriminalize hemp and license hemp cultivation, passed the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House Committee, and could soon get a full House vote.
“If the Ohio full House passes this bill it will be a historical step forward for the hemp industry, for residents who want to utilize CBD’s reported benefits and for local farmers,” said Hemp, Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin.
“Corn and soybeans have always been seen as Ohio’s agricultural bases, but with industrial hemp’s more than 20,000 uses, this cash crop can help save the small family farms that are struggling from a tough spring and bring a lucrative crop back to the rural areas.”
Senate Bill 57 (SB 57) would allow Ohio farmers to cultivate industrial hemp and make it legal for stores to sell CBD products. SB 57 passed the Ohio Senate on March 28, 2019 and recently passed the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
The next step for the bill would be for it to enter the full floor vote in the House.
In the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, a number of changes have been made to the bill, including a new clause specifying the bill would go into effect immediately once Gov. Mike DeWine signs it.
Traditionally, it takes approximately three months for a bill to go into effect after the governor signs it.
Authority under federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
The federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 expanded the authority to cultivate industrial hemp beyond research and pilot programs to generally allow for hemp and hemp products to be legally cultivated, produced, and sold under two circumstances.
First, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 required states wishing to authorize hemp cultivation to submit a plan for hemp regulation to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Secondly, if a state does not submit a plan and hemp is not prohibited by that state, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture would then establish a plan to monitor and regulate hemp in that state. S.B. 57 requires the Director of Agriculture to submit a plan for the regulation of hemp (as noted above).
As of 2016 in Oregon, state law allows individuals registered by the Oregon Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for commercial purposes. As is true in several other states, growers and handlers who intend to sell or distribute seeds must be licensed as seed producers. (see: Or. Rev. Stat § 571.300 to § 571.315)
According to National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 38 states considered legislation related to industrial hemp in 2018. These bills ranged from clarifying existing laws to establishing new licensing requirements and programs.
Of those 38, at least six states (Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey and Oklahoma) enacted legislation in 2018 establishing hemp research and industrial hemp pilot programs.
What is Next for Ohio Hemp?If Ohio’s hemp program passes, Hemp, Inc. sees this area as a prime spot for future ventures because of the amount of rural land. Additionally, as states continue to approve hemp cultivation, Hemp, Inc. sees opportunity and fertile ground for Hemp, Inc.’s Hemp University to train the farmers on how to successfully grow the crop.
“According to a 2018 agriculture overview for Ohio, there were nearly 14 million acres of farm operations, and all of these acres could potentially be used to cultivate hemp," Perlowin added.
"By legalizing hemp and putting a program into place, Ohio can help fill the huge, growing demand for hemp-derived CBD and other hemp products."
Farmers who are interested in growing hemp in Ohio, can listen to (previously-aired) The Hemp University’s west coast March 23rd and May 4, 2019 workshops online. The online masterclasses are $10 each and include lectures from industry leaders on informative topics pertaining to the hemp farming industry.
The next southern Oregon Hemp University entitled “Pre-Harvest Symposium” is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, 2019 and will include topics such as efficient harvesting, streamlined processing, and profit channels.
Sources: NCSL; Hemp, Inc.; Globe Newswire; others
Hemp, Inc.(OTC PINK: HEMP) is a global leader in the industrial hemp industry with bi-coastal processing centers including the 85,000 square-foot multipurpose industrial hemp processing facility in Spring Hope, North Carolina, a state of the art processing center in Medford, Oregon, and a 500-acre hemp growing Eco-Village in Golden Valley, Arizona,
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