Ohio navigates CBD rules, developments and legal quandaries

Ohio navigates CBD rules, developments and legal quandaries

As states rush to develop their own rules to treat hemp and CBD across a new and flourishing market, some have had more issues than others.

In Ohio, a familiar pattern has made itself manifest: Police with confusing orders fail to differentiate between hemp crops and illegal marijuana, while CBD entrepreneurs are stilted by unclear and inconsistent signals from authorities.

Investors and entrepreneurs have found themselves at the mercy of at-times inept authorities coming into the new year.

"The Ohio Department of Agriculture is telling farmers to only invest in what they're willing to lose," Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau media relations director, told Clevescene.com. "So, if that tells you anything about the market and what the unknowns are in this industry, that would be the thing I would share when it comes to hemp production in Ohio.” [1]

Most of the industrial hemp in Ohio, like other states, will be manufactured into CBD which people will use for their chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia and other common issues.

"When it comes to producing CBD oil, there's going to be a lot more maintenance during the growing season and a lot more risk to make sure your THC levels are below legal level to qualify for hemp," Higgins told Clevescene.com. "It's going to cost more to produce CBD oil, but on the back end, you'll get more than you will for any other product.” [1]

According to ABC News affiliate News 5, Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt was arrested back in November for possessing what police suspected was marijuana. However, after an investigation and testing of the substance, police weren’t able to establish what the substance in his car was. [3]

Last year hemp was made legal in Ohio, and any hemp product that doesn’t exceed 0.3% THC falls within the licit boundaries. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and has the ability to intoxicate its users unlike CBD.

"If you don't get the concentration correct, you're not going to be able to establish what it is," said President of the Cleveland Metro Bar Association, Isaac Friedman. [3]

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced last year the state would appropriate $50,000 to send samples of possible marijuana to labs for THC testing, and advised state attorneys not to indict on cannabis charges until the samples were tested. [3]


[1] https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2020/01/29/theres-cautious-optimism-for-ohio-farmers-in-hemp-industry

[2] https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/state/oh-its-been-a-nightmare-hemp-farmers-face-problems-with-banks-as-ohios-rules-take-effect

[3] https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/man-caught-with-91-pounds-of-cannabis-walks-because-police-couldnt-prove-it-was-marijuana