COLUMBUS – State Representative Scott Oelslager (R – North Canton) announced the passage of Senate Bill 57, legislation that decriminalizes hemp and licenses hemp cultivation.

Substitute Senate Bill 57excludes hemp and hemp products from the marijuana definition that is used to enforce controlled substance laws. The bill also prohibits the listing of hemp or hemp products as controlled substances by the State Board of Pharmacy.

The bill passed with an emergency provision to allow the legislation to go in to effect immediately so that the Department of Agriculture can set up programs to enable farmers to plant and have a harvest next spring. The bill also includes a provision allowing the release of CBD products that authorities have seized under some circumstances.

This legislation will provide Ohio farmers some relief after a particularly difficult season.

Additionally, Senate Bill 57 will create the Hemp Cultivation and Processing Program run by the Director of Agriculture to monitor and regulate hemp cultivation and hemp processing. Any person wanting to cultivate hemp into any product must obtain a hemp processing license from the Director.

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