On July 17th, the state legislature sent Senate Bill 57 to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk for his signature. SB 57 creates a hemp cultivator license as well as a hemp processing license program to be administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The House voted 88-3 to pass the hemp legalization bill. The House also voted to include an emergency clause, which was needed in part so farmers could plant hemp as soon as possible. The Senate agreed to the bill and the emergency clause and overwhelmingly passed the hemp legislation as well.

With the quick implementation of growing farmers and business owners have developed questions about how to grow, how to care for, and how to treat the now-legal plant.

According to the David Dugan, Extension Educator, Agriculture and National Resources and Community Development of the Ohio State University Extension, an informational meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st, at the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Spaced is limited to 150 people. The Extension Office is requiring individuals to pre-register by Friday, September 27th by calling 937-544-2339.

This should be a very informative meeting and a great

opportunity to ask questions and get some answers.

David Dugan, Extension Educator, Agriculture and National Resources and Community Development of the Ohio State University Extension

The meeting will feature Dr. Bob Pearce from the University of Kentucky. “Dr. Pearce has been to Adams County a number of times over the years. Dr. Pearce and I have done tobacco research together and he has headed up the GAP trainings for most of the tobacco growers in recent years,” said Dugan.

“Dr. Pearce is still a tobacco specialist, but he is also heading up the Hemp Program at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Pearce will discuss the research done in recent years at UK in producing hemp. Planting rates, fertilizer rates, weed control and much more.”

The meeting will also feature David Miran, Executive Director of the Hemp Program with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Miran will cover rule-making and licensure requirements for producing hemp in Ohio.

According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, before the hemp program can be fully operational in Ohio, rules still need to be developed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the state program sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its approval. However, this legislation is a positive step forward.

“This should be a very informative meeting and a great opportunity to ask questions and get some answers. I stress some answers because we do not have all of the answers just yet. Keep in mind extension is involved in research and then we relay information to farmers. It will take a few years to get up to speed on some of the issues that farmers will face with this crop that has not been legal in Ohio for several decades. This meeting will give everyone a start to build on,” said Dugan.

A similar meeting took place in Kentucky and more than 400 people attended.

According to Dugan, a permit was granted through the Ohio Department of Agriculture for Adams County to be home to one of the first growing operations in the state. The operation is near the Adams County Airport. Acela CBD, a hemp company from Maysville is helping with production. Acela CBD, is a sister company to MACA Plastics.

Hemp and its illegal cousin marijuana are species of cannabis, but they have different properties. Marijuana contains much more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than hemp. THC is the part of a cannabis plant that can cause a psychoactive effect in certain concentrations, but hemp plants generally do not contain enough THC to produce a “high” and its properties can be used in a large variety of products.

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