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Does Hemp Have the Power to Revitalize the Farm Economy in Ohio?

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In the state of Ohio, Senate Bill 57 was recently introduced, which aims to legalize the processing and cultivation of hemp in the state. Sponsored by legislators Stephen Huffman and Brian Hill, the bill also seeks to legalize the sale of products derived from hemp such as the CBD oil.

The legislation follows the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, also known as the US Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. With the signing of the Farm Bill, hemp was removed from the list of controlled substances.

Senate Bill 57

The Senate Bill aims to create an industrial hemp program that will belong under the Department of Agriculture. Although hemp and marijuana come from the same genus of plant, they are actually two different plants. The biggest difference is that marijuana has THC, which is the psychoactive component that triggers a feeling of high. Hemp, on the other hand, contains less than 0.3% of the THC, which means that it is absolutely safe to consume. Senate Bill 57 has made it clear that industrial hemp is totally different from marijuana.

Exciting Opportunity

The passing of Senate Bill 57 is certainly an exciting opportunity for the local farmers in the state to expand their crops. Farmers can now rotate hemp with other crops, which helps to improve the soil while also earning more profit at the same time.

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. Hemp comes with a wide range of farm safety programs similar to other crops, such as soybeans and corn. However, if a certain state considers hemp illegal, then the crop will still be off-limits to farmers and processors despite the approval of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. This is the case with Ohio.

Hemp in Ohio

In Ohio, hemp is still a new topic. There are still many questions around it that are waiting to be answered. Unknown to many, hemp is one of the earliest domesticated crops that is highly regarded because of the highly nutritious seed. As a botanical powerhouse, hemp has long been used for centuries in food, wellness, manufacturing, construction, and more.

But the crop is often misunderstood because of its close relation to marijuana. Both plants belong to the cannabis sativa family yet they differ greatly in their chemical composition because of the amount of THC in each plant.

According to the Ohio Farmer’s Union, they are aware that the officials of the state’s Department of Agriculture know how important it is for the farmers to be able to diversify their crops by adding hemp. They believe that Senate Bill 57 will be a huge step forward. The state is already losing a lot of opportunities in hemp but they are hopeful that this will soon be resolved and the Bill will be passed. They have applauded the senators who sponsored the Bill for their interest in bringing industrial hemp to the state, which would allow farmers to explore the huge potential that comes with this growing market.

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