CBD and hemp legalized


Well-Known Member
Good news for Ohio CBD users! On July 30th, Governor DeWine signed Senate Bill 57, officially legalizing CBD and low-THC hemp in Ohio. CBD had previously been illegal, aside from its availability as medical marijuana at dispensaries, although tolerance and prosecution varied widely across the state. There had been some crackdowns in some areas but sales were not blocked in other places.

Now CBD and low-THC hemp are immediately legal, and retail sales are effectively unregulated. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be tasked with writing regulations pertaining to cultivation, and the agency is expected to have rules that meet federal standards in place before farmers plant their fields next Spring. It appears that farmers will need to be licensed, though there is no plan to limit the number of license issued.

This hemp legalization has created a problem for prosecutors, as the state lacks the ability to test cannabis samples for THC levels. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation can currently test for the presence of THC but not a percentage, meaning it is next to impossible for law enforcement or prosecutors to determine whether a sample qualifies as hemp or marijuana. BCI reports that they are working to update their testing capabilities, but in the meantime, the AG is recommending that prosecutors forego prosecution of misdemeanor marijuana offenses and suspend cases rather than seek indictments. Private labs can be used for testing in trafficking cases, so this is not akin to full cannabis legalization and may be a temporary condition.

Prosecutors in Columbus have said they will no longer prosecute marijuana-related misdemeanors. This is also notable because the city recently decriminalized marijuana. In a big step, the possibility of jail time was eliminated in cases of possession of up to 200 grams, with fines ranging from $10 to $25. Cincinnati has also decriminalized small quantities, with possession of up to 100 grams resulting in no fine and no criminal record.

Please chime in if you have anything relevant to add, like how this will impact you or someone else, opinions on what's next, whether this will result in momentum leading to broader legalization, or just love for CBD. Ohio's medical marijuana is still far too restrictive, too expensive, and generally behind the times, so hopefully this is another sign of a change in public opinion and a hint at real progress to come.