It’s official. CBD products, including CBD oil, is now legal and will soon be regularly featured on Cincinnati store shelves.
In July, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 57 decriminalizing hemp and CBD products — effectively legalizing the growth, harvesting, and sale of such products in the state of Ohio.
Under the 2018 Federal Farm Bill passed last December, the federal government effectively opened the door on legal hemp and CBD cultivation — separating hemp and CBD products that met federal THC minimum mandates from the marijuana plant. The new law allows it to be legally cultivated and sold under federal guidelines.
The catch is the federal bill largely left it up to states — whose laws and standards can differ across the board. Ohio was one of the few states without a program. Prior to Senate Bill 57, Ohio lumped hemp and CBD products in with marijuana drug laws. CBD was legally available only under Ohio’s medical marijuana program — meaning you must be a medical marijuana patient with a medical marijuana card and authorized doctor recommendation to legally partake.
CBD Market Gets the Green Light
Companies like ZuRI, A CBD Supply Co. in Lorain County, had effectively been sitting on their hands with orders to fill — waiting on the Ohio legislature. Now the door is wide open.
“In Ohio, I would probably say 70 to 80 [retailers] right off the bat, and that doesn’t include us now going out and really marketing to Ohio,” Scott Raybuck, ZuRI’s president and CEO told Channel 5 News. “So it was a substantial number of retailers that we’ll be fulfilling orders over the next couple of weeks here for them.”
State Testing Required
Of course, to meet Ohio’s mandated guidelines, all CBD oil and products must meet the requirement of containing less than 0.3 percent THC. This requires extensive testing.
“We go through an arduous process to test every single CBD product that we produce,” Raybuck said. “So before we buy the CBD from our certified agricultural department partner in Colorado, they send us what’s called a certificate of analysis, which is a third-party independent lab sample, so we first look at that. After we approve of that, we then get the product shipped to us. We then send another sample out to a different independent lab to make sure that the CBD content is what it states it is and then the THC levels are below that 0.3 percent legal.”
A New Market, a Wider Audience
By removing CBD oil and products from the same classification of marijuana outside of Ohio medical marijuana program, it opens up the market to a wider audience.
“I think this removes the stigma that what we sell is medical marijuana,’’ Dave Arend, owner of Your CBD Store in Anderson Township, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s not, and we definitely anticipate a lot more customers who want the benefit of CBD without the high of medical marijuana.’’
The new law does require farmers to be licensed by the state of Ohio to grow hemp and CBD products. Lawmakers claimed they would not put a limit on the number of licenses.
Why You Should Still Consider an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card
What does the new law mean for medical marijuana patients in Ohio? Technically, you no longer need an Ohio medical marijuana card to use CBD products that meet the minimum THC standards. However, research shows that CBD oil and medical marijuana that are not so restrictive on THC can be beneficial for a host of ailments. Medical marijuana is still worth considering, including CBD oil and strains more focused on CBD effects, to treat many conditions.
If you are curious if you qualify for a medical marijuana card, give us a call. Dr. Blatman is one of a select number of physicians in Ohio authorized to make medical marijuana recommendations in Cincinnati and the state of Ohio.