Visit the Archive

Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Toledo Legal News - Bill would decriminalize hemp, establish cultivation program


State lawmakers took a first look at a bill that would allow Ohio farmers to cash in on hemp, marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin.

The sponsoring Republican duo gave testimony in support of Ohio Farm Bureau-backed Senate Bill 57 before Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee members this week.

"Hemp is not marijuana," Sen. Steve Huffman of Tipp City told lawmakers. "While industrial hemp and marijuana both derive from the same plant genus, they possess many different properties - the main difference being that industrial hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), so it does not produce psychoactive effects on humans like marijuana does."

He said for Ohio-grown hemp to comply with federal law, the commodity would have to contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.

SB 57 would create an industrial hemp program in the Buckeye State, administered by the Department of Agriculture.

Additionally, the legislation would clarify that hemp and hemp derived products, including CBD (cannabidiol) oil may be sold legally in Ohio.

"This an exciting opportunity for farmers to expand the crops they plant," said the bill's joint sponsor Sen. Brian Hill of Zanesville. "Farmers can rotate hemp to improve soil health while earning more profit than many traditional cover crops.

"I'm eager to see all the ways that Ohio will benefit from this legislation."

The lawmakers noted that with the recent passage of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, industrial hemp has been removed from the list of scheduled substances banned by the federal government and can now be grown as a commodity crop throughout the United States.

Many states have adopted a hemp pilot program, so that farmers in their jurisdictions could begin planting and harvesting hemp and so the hemp could be used in over 25,000 commercial products including feed, fiber, biofuels, clothing and plastic, the lawmakers added.

Huffman noted that the federal law taking hemp off the controlled substances list and treating it permanently as an agricultural commodity, necessitates SB 57 to clarify state law by changing the relevant definitions and removing hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD oil from Ohio's controlled substances list.

"We are distinguishing hemp from marijuana just as the federal government has done and making hemp and hemp products legal for sale," he said.

SB 57 enjoys support of the Ohio Farm Bureau and has the intention of helping Ohio farmers.

"Farmers are always looking for new options to diversify their operations," the bureau's Executive Vice President Adam Sharp said in a statement. "We applaud Sens. Hill and Huffman for introducing legislation to help bring industrial hemp to Ohio and to allow farmers to explore the potential of this quickly growing market opportunity."

According to the bill, the state director of Agriculture would have to establish a Hemp Cultivation Program to monitor and regulate cultivation of the commodity.

Under the program, the director would be required to issue hemp cultivation licenses to eligible applicants.

A person seeking to cultivate hemp must apply for a five-year hemp cultivation license, the bill stipulates. The Department of Agriculture or a university with director approval, however, may cultivate hemp without such a license.

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

U.S. government officials, judges to speak at ABA Business Law meeting in Vancouver

Officials from the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, federal judges, along with national and international business law experts will be among the more than 1,600 participants at the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Spring Meeting to be held March 28-30 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Date Published: March 20, 2019

8 ways to banish spring allergies

(BPT) Spring. The time of year when, as poet Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said, a young man's (and woman's) fancy "lightly turns to thoughts of love." That is, of course, if you're not sneezing, coughing or dealing with itchy eyes. Spring allergies seem to get worse every year. Is there anything you can do to avoid them?

Date Published: March 19, 2019

ODNR urges open burning precautions for spring wildfire season

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges Ohioans to learn about the state’s outdoor burning regulations and to take precautions if they are planning to burn debris this spring. Ohio law states outdoor debris burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during March, April and May.

Date Published: March 19, 2019

Many small retailers going cashless

(Columbus) While still fresh from its December opening, a bagel shop in the Short North has already modified its payment policy.

Date Published: March 18, 2019

New grants from AG Yost to address visible reminders for trafficking survivors

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently announced that his office will begin a new program to help survivors of human trafficking eliminate a visible reminder that many live with: tattoos and similar markings that once served to “brand” them as the property of pimps, drug dealers or gangs.

Date Published: March 18, 2019

UT College of Law receives federal grant for tax clinic

The University of Toledo College of Law was awarded a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Taxpayer Advocate Service, making it the only academic institution in Ohio to receive the honor. The LITC grant can match funds up to $100,000 annually to support the law school’s existing Tax Controversy Clinic. In the clinic, Toledo law students work under the supervision of Clinic Director Chris Bourell to assist taxpayers in disputes with the IRS.

Date Published: March 18, 2019

ABA Service Center earns award for exceptional customer service

The American Bar Association is proud to be recognized with the 2019 Customer Experience Excellence Award from Fonolo, which honors the association’s service center for its superior customer service using Fonolo’s call-back technology.

Date Published: March 15, 2019

Are your children gaming? Then they may be gambling, too!

Videogaming has been expanding its reach into an area that has traditionally been off limits for children – gambling. In recent years, researchers have been looking into how gaming has been weaving gambling into the virtual stories. Unfortunately, while the situations are virtual, the money spent to participate is real.

Date Published: March 15, 2019

New projects expected to create more than $100 million in investments

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced the approval of assistance for seven projects set to create 1,430 new jobs and retain 1,970 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $96 million in new payroll and spur more than $100 million in investments across Ohio. Projects approved by the TCA include:

Date Published: March 15, 2019

6 fun ideas to save as a family

Meeting financial goals as a family can be challenging. But inspiring your family to helpAmerica-Saves-Week-2019-participant-badge and contribute to a financial goal doesn’t have to be a painful process, especially when the result is an exciting family vacation, a new family car, or college savings. In the spirit of America Saves Week, I’ll share some ideas on how to save as a family for all those items and bucket-list experiences.

Date Published: March 14, 2019