The rules surrounding hemp production in Ohio are now in place before the 2020 planting season begins.
Shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp, many states ramped up efforts to legalize the crop within their borders. For Ohio, that opportunity came when Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law, which created a hemp cultivation license to be administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Ohio’s hemp production plan has since been one of the first federally approved programs in the nation when the Buckeye State was one of only six hemp production plans approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the end of December.
Farmers who want to grow hemp in Ohio will need to be licensed under the state’s plan. The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review heard the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s rules for licensure in mid-January. The Ohio Department of Agriculture Hemp Program will begin accepting license applications from potential cultivators and processors for the 2020 growing season on March 3 at noon. All cultivators and processors are required to obtain a license and can apply online at www.agri.ohio.gov at that time.
“We should be extremely proud that Ohio was one of the first states to see its program approved by the USDA,” said Tony Seegers, OFBF director of state policy. “It is a testament to the hard work of hemp supporters, the legislature and the yeoman’s work by ODA to have rules administering a whole new program in place so farmers can begin planting hemp this year.”