On Tuesday, July 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law, legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp and the manufacturing and sales of cannabidiol (CBD) products in the state. This new law tasks the Ohio Department of Agriculture with the creation of a licensure system for hemp farming, and state officials hope to get this program up and running by next year so that farmers can grow hemp by spring.
But what is hemp, what is CBD, and what does this mean for Ohio physicians?
What is Hemp?
Hemp, while also derived from the cannabis plant as marijuana is, contains no more than three-tenths of a percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration from the state’s definition of marijuana. THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, and hemp farmers in the state of Ohio will be required to submit their crop for testing to ensure that it remains within the legal THC threshold.
Hemp is used in a variety of products, including cosmetics, personal care products, supplements intended for both humans and animals, cloth, fuel, paint, and paper.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract from the cannabis plant that has already been sold in Ohio stores for years despite questions about its legality. SB 57’s legalization of hemp products includes hemp-derived CBD, which is often sold as an oil.
While there have been claims that CBD has medicinal properties and several studies have suggested the extract might have medicinal potential, experts continue to warn that CBD is still not a proven medicinal product and research about CBD is still in its infancy.
What does this mean for Ohio physicians?
A recommendation from a physician with a certificate to recommend medical marijuana is not required to purchase a hemp product or hemp-derived CBD product, so individuals in Ohio will not need to be a registered patient or caregiver to purchase such products.
For more information, please refer to this factsheet released by the State Board of Pharmacy.
OSMA members: If you have any questions, please contact the OSMA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Jennifer Hayhurst, at email@example.com or by calling the OSMA at (614) 527-6762.