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Government & Politics

Ohio House Passes Bill Legalizing Hemp Cultivation

a photo of a store selling CBD oils
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
In August 2018, a store in Columbus was selling products with CBD oils, which was illegal at the time, according to the rules of the state's Pharmacy Board. Products with CBD oil were being sold in boutique shops and health food stores.

Most of the attention on lawmakers focused on their approval of a state budget 17 days after the deadline. But they also passed a bill to decriminalize hemp and license its cultivation.

Republican Rep. Kyle Koehler said Ohio is one of a handful of states that hasn’t allowed hemp cultivation. 

“It is imperative that Ohio moves quickly so that our farmers can take advantage of a domestic hemp marketplace and catch up with our neighboring states,” he said.

The bill, which easily passed in the House and Senate, also legalizes the sales of cannabidiol oil, CBD oil, derived from hemp. The products must limit the level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high.

Ohio farmers and the business community backed the bill. Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign it into law soon.