Ohio agency, business owners prepare to navigate legalization of hemp, CBD products

(WBNS)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new bill legalizing hemp and CBD oil in the state of Ohio has paved new, uncharted territory in the Buckeye State.

Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, says calls poured in almost immediately after Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 57.

“Farmers wanted to know how to get a license,” Pelanda said.

The bill makes it possible for farmers to now grow hemp, which is a product from the cannabis plant. The product does not produce the same intoxicating effect as marijuana.

The new legislation also allows for the sale of CBD products, a derivative of the hemp plant. Supporters of products containing the compound claim combinations can treat an array of ailments.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now tasked with regulating both entities. Researchers will test the potency of hemp, grown by Ohio farmers as well as products claiming to contain CBD.

Pelanda says the Ohio Department of Agriculture is going the state controlling board to request a $12 million budget to outfit labs, hire techs and get the testing program off the ground.