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Ohio State University plans to buy about 2,000 hemp plants in the next week. Gary Pierzynski, associate dean for research and graduate programs at OSU's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said it’s too late to plant with the goal of harvesting. But Pierzynski hopes this first crop at four locations will position them for good research on growing methods, plant diseases, pests and more next year. hemp market will grow from about $4.6 billion to more than $26 billion by 2023.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has said hemp has the potential to be Ohio's No. Farmers in Wisconsin, shown in this May 28 photo, and other Midwestern states are growing hemp this year under the 2014 Farm Bill's pilot program. Ohio farmers will likely plant their first hemp crop in 2020. The bill leaves the details of Ohio’s hemp program – like who can grow it and how much licenses will cost – to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Those rules will be shaped by experts, lobbyists and public comment periods. Hours after Senate Bill 57 passed, a new hemp industry lobbying group was announced: the Ohio Hemp Industry Alliance. Backing the group: Ian James and Jimmy Gould, who led the unsuccessful 2015 effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio. Since Issue 3 failed, James and Gould have invested in hemp, in addition to obtaining licenses for medical marijuana businesses here. Statehouse lobbyist Neil Clark, who has been tapped to lead the organization, said the association will serve businesses who are involved at several levels of the industry and who have “big ideas.” It will also promote pro-hemp politicians through a political action committee.

“Our goal is to make sure those restrictions aren’t prohibitive,” Clark said. “There’s a lot of farmland in Ohio and there has to be opportunities for everyone.” The group joins others that pushed the bill along including the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, which largely represents CBD businesses, and the Ohio Hemp Association, comprised of Ohio businesses and entrepreneurs that want to grow hemp or manufacture hemp products. Queen City Hemp has been gearing up to put its CBD Seltzer water back on the shelves at local retailers, including Hemptations and Clifton Natural Foods. A large part of the Cincinnati-based manufacturer’s inventory of CBD-infused seltzer water was confiscated from those retailers and destroyed by the local health department during their crackdown in February, according to president and co-founder Robert Ryan. But despite the lost inventory and cost to re-supply vendors, Ryan said he's excited about the future of the business. Queen City Hemp used this flyer to promote a CBD Seltzer water giveaway on Thursday in anticipation of the end of prohibition of CBD sales in Ohio. (Photo: Provided) “It did hurt us financially,’’ Ryan said. “But we feel that having a law in Ohio is more important. And if it took getting embargoed for that to happen, then that’s what it took.’’ A number of national chain stores are already selling CBD products across the country. Kroger, the nation's largest grocery retailer, announced in June it would sell hemp-derived CBD creams, balms and other topical products in nearly 1,000 stores in 17 states – but not its home state of Ohio. That will change with the new law, but a Kroger spokeswoman said it was too early to provide details. More than 100 years ago the state of Ohio, and many others in the U.S., grew industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. In fact, the state thrived and benefited in many ways thanks to hemp, due to its dozens of purposes that extended beyond its therapeutic potential. Hemp was used in making fiber, textiles, rope, food, clothing, shoes, biodegradable plastics, lamp oil, and lots more. Now hemp is making a comeback in Ohio and this article will talk about its reemergence in the agricultural and wellness space. We’ll also discuss the legalities around cultivating hemp and consuming hemp flower. Plus, we’ll share tips on how to identify high-quality CBD flower and explain the benefits of smoking it. Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine signed a Bill in July 2019 to legalize industrial hemp. More specifically, the Bill legalized the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and selling of hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD oil and hemp flower. Public excitement from the passage of this Bill was nearly unanimous. In particular, the Ohio Farm Bureau was very pleased.

They understood the potential of industrial hemp and how growing it could provide a much-needed source of revenue for farmers in the state.

Once the Bill went into effect, it was the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to draft the Hemp Program.


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