When Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed and passed Bill 57 into state law, CBD products became officially legal in Ohio with immediate effect. The new law allows locals to sell CBD products in the state. Even better, the Ohio state government, in its ruling, elected to remove hemp from the long list of Ohio`s controlled substances.
The new law legalizing the non-licensed retail of CBD products was well received by many, especially CBD enthusiasts who felt oppressed by the initial laws that limited the sale and use of CBD products.
The 2018 Farm Bill, however, was viewed by many as the federal government`s move to legalize hemp-derived products. Ohio`s firm stance in regards to the use of CBD products came as a surprise to many, given the federal government`s decision to legalize the use of hemp products.
As we have already established, the use of CBD products is officially legal in Ohio. But, since selling and buying CBD products is officially within Ohio`s legal confines, the question remains, how do consumers access the products?
Do you need a license to sell the products? Must you be a registered medical user to access CBD products in Ohio? In this read, we will highlight everything you need to know about CBD in Ohio.
Ohio`s CBD Regulations in a Nutshell
Is CBD legal in Ohio? Until recently, Ohio was firmly in the list of states that were skeptical about CBD products, especially when used in food products. When House Bill 523 (HB 523) was controversially passed into Ohio law, only registered medical marijuana patients were allowed to access CBD products.
Ohio residents, similar to locals in other states where CBD products are considered illegal, regularly aired their discontentment to the law. HB 523 was viewed as a restriction to human rights, especially when considering that CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and that CBD use and retail was legalized in the hugely popular 2018 Farm Bill.
Before the new law kicked into action, legal access to CBD products was exclusively for the few people with medical marijuana cards. Obtaining a medical marijuana card in Ohio, as you might be aware, was extremely difficult before the amendment of the House Bill 523.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine famously signed the CBD bill into law, allowing regulated hemp farming all through the state.
So, since we have established that the use and retail of CBD products are legal in Ohio, here`s everything you need to know about Ohio`s CBD industry.
1. Hemp Grown in Farms must Contain under 0.3% THC
If you plan to grow Hemp in Ohio, then you must be willing to comply with the fairly strict regulations. While the new law allows the retail of CBD without licenses, the regulations are still strict since only hemp, and not marijuana, can be grown in Ohio. Ohio grown Hemp must not exceed the O.3 THC threshold to remain legal.
2. Ohio State Government Must be Informed of Hemp Farming
Although you can now plant your own hemp and cultivate it to manufacture CBD products, you must actively update the state government on your hemp farming intentions to remain on Ohio`s good books. Farming Hemp without state knowledge can land you into trouble. Due to this, it is advisable to consult with regular state authorities before deciding to venture into Hemp cultivation.
3. Hemp is Legal but still Highly Regulated
Despite the positive ruling in regards to the use of CBD products in Ohio, Hemp still remains under the regulated crop category. Therefore, to cultivate Hemp in Ohio, you must have a state license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Failure to obtain a farming license will almost definitely land you in potentially serious trouble as the state looks to maintain a hands-on approach when it comes to hemp cultivation.
If you want to sell CBD products, however, you can proceed without having a license. The new law allows for the retail of CBD products provided they meet the less than 0.3 THC threshold.
4. Not Everyone can Grow Hemp in Ohio
If you have a controlled substance-related felony within the past decade, then the Ohio state government will not allow you to grow hemp within its borders. Although deemed harsh, the ruling is aimed at regulating hemp production and ensuring that only credible dealers are permitted to cultivate the plant.
5. The CBD Industry is about to Boom
If you are planning to join the CBD bandwagon in Ohio, then the best time to act is now. With the government focus now shifted to regulation as opposed to restriction, vendors and users are likely to increase exponentially over the next couple of months. Retailers who were initially prohibited from transacting without licenses are now allowed to transact freely, provided they observe state regulations.
Favorable regulations, coupled together with high demand, make hemp one of the most lucrative plants to cultivate in Ohio. The market is likely to grow larger as the stigma surrounding CBD products is slowly fading over time.
Should You Buy CBD Online or in Physical Stores?
Buying CBD in Stores
Although the move to legalize hemp farming and the sale of its products in Ohio was welcomed by many, the industry is likely to take time before booming. Ohio`s infamous House Bill 523 required that only licensed pharmaceutical stores were allowed to sell CBD products.
Despite the firm measures put in place by the state government, CBD users in Ohio still purchased the products online. This is because purchasing CBD oil in physical was highly complicated, especially since all users were required to produce their medical marijuana cards. The 2018 Farm Act, however, played a crucial role in changing Ohio`s stand in regards to the growth of hemp and the retail of CBD products.
As per the new law, you can now buy hemp products from any physical store without having a license. Only hemp farmers and CBD manufacturers will be required to have state licenses before proceeding with their CBD business. Even retail stalls aren’t required to hold licenses to sell CBD products.
Buying in Ohio`s brick and mortar stores can be quite challenging, though. With a lot of people still confused about the new legislation and its impact on the CBD industry, it is highly likely that not too many stores will stock CBD products just yet. However, once the dust settles over time, expect several stores to stock up different CBD products from edibles to tinctures and even vape pens in Ohio. After all, the CBD industry is among the fastest-growing sectors in the US.
Buying CBD Online
When it comes to buying quality CBD products, it is advisable to go the online way, especially when looking to acquire the best products available. With the CBD industry yet to be fully regulated, profit-seeking manufacturers tend to misdirect clients on the content and THC concentration of their products. As a result, interested CBD users must be extra careful to ensure that they purchase legal and accurately labeled products.
Since Ohio is a relatively new market for CBD products, different CBD manufacturing companies are likely to pop up in the next months. While this might be viewed as good news for both users and sellers, it can also lead to the sale of products that do not meet the state requirements. Therefore, this leads to the question, what should you do to get quality CBD products shipped to your address in Ohio?
Below are some of the things to keep in mind as you shop online
I. Research on the Credibility of Online Retailers
As mentioned earlier, the CBD industry is among the fastest-growing markets in the US. More people are farming hemp plants, meaning that more CBD products will make it to the online market. However, to avoid falling for unscrupulous CBD traders, it is always advisable to do your due diligence and ensure that the company is credible and that it has a reputation for selling quality products.
II. Have a Specific Product in Mind
As the new law continues to take effect, a lot more Ohio residents will be exposed to CBD products. And, as you might be aware, CBD products come in several forms from edibles, tinctures, vape pens, and even balm applications. Therefore, it is advisable to understand the product you want before heading online to make purchases. CBD selling websites have been strategically designed to advertise a variety of CBD products to visiting clients.
III. Check for Online Reviews
You can never go wrong with customer reviews. It is not unusual for happy clients to shower praises to a seller. Even better, disgruntled clients are always keen to express their disappointment on social platforms. Therefore, it is advisable to read customer reviews before deciding on an online vendor.
Point to note, though; you should always practice caution when reading online reviews. Some companies are known to fake reviews in efforts to convince clients of their ‘exemplary’ products and services. Repetitive or extremely positive reviews should act as red flags that a company is writing its own reviews.
IV. Check for U.S Hemp Authority Certification
If you decide to use the online channel to purchase CBD products, be sure to check for U.S Hemp Authority Certification. The U.S Hemp Authority only issues certificates to merchants who satisfy their fairly high standards. Although the certification from the U.S Hemp authority is not mandatory, buying from certified companies will guarantee that you get organic products with the approved concentration levels.
V. Third-Party Lab Testing
When buying CBD online, be sure to check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). A COA shows the concentration of THC, CBD as well as other compounds in your product. Here`s a tip to keep in mind, fraudulent companies will never reveal their concentration levels. Genuine companies will reveal all their lab results, especially the ones from third-party tests.
VI. Understand State Laws
Products that might be legal in other states might be deemed illegal in Ohio. Therefore, as you look to purchase CBD products online, it is advisable to check on whether the products meet the legal threshold set by the state government. Some companies might try to lure you into shipping products that can land you in trouble.
For instance, only products with concentration levels of less than 0.3 are allowed for sale in Ohio. Check on such factors before deciding to ship to your address.
Online or Physical Stores: The verdict
Buying from physical stores in Ohio might sound appealing, especially if the stores are located within your neighborhood. But with people yet to fully grasp the scope of the new CBD laws, buying from stores might be limiting as vendors are gradually re-introducing the products to their stores.
Buying online gives you the power to investigate and countercheck for irregularities. All CBD products sold by legitimate companies come with COAs to prove that they have been independently tested by a third party. Such certifications give you peace of mind that you are not consuming potentially harmful products in the name of CBD.
Purchasing CBD products online is safer and more convenient than buying from physical stores. While it is still safe to make purchases in brick and mortar stores, the shops are likely to have less variety as retailers look to re-enter the CBD market with caution to avoid losses.
Is CBD legal in Ohio? Yes, it is very legal! And here`s the best part; the new law allows you to buy CBD products without a card or prescription. Store vendors, too, stand to benefit from the recently passed state law that allows vendors to stock and sell CBD products without licenses. However, if you want to plant hemp, then you will need to acquire a license and notify the relevant state agencies.
Whether you choose to buy online or in physical stores, it is advisable to be extra careful when checking for content and compound concentration. Remember, Ohio`s CBD law allows for the sale of products with THC concentrations of less than 0.3. Purchasing or retailing products that do not satisfy the regulations set in Ohio`s Bill 57 will likely land in you in trouble.