More than 100 years ago the state of Ohio, and many others in the U.S., grew industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. In fact, the state thrived and benefited in many ways thanks to hemp, due to its dozens of purposes that extended beyond its therapeutic potential.
Hemp was used in making fiber, textiles, rope, food, clothing, shoes, biodegradable plastics, lamp oil, and lots more. Now hemp is making a comeback in Ohio and this article will talk about its reemergence in the agricultural and wellness space.
We’ll also discuss the legalities around cultivating hemp and consuming hemp flower. Plus, we’ll share tips on how to identify high-quality CBD flower and explain the benefits of smoking it.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Hemp Growing Laws in Ohio
Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine signed a Bill in July 2019 to legalize industrial hemp. More specifically, the Bill legalized the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and selling of hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD oil and hemp flower.
Public excitement from the passage of this Bill was nearly unanimous. In particular, the Ohio Farm Bureau was very pleased. They understood the potential of industrial hemp and how growing it could provide a much-needed source of revenue for farmers in the state.
Once the Bill went into effect, it was the responsibility of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to draft the Hemp Program. Under this program, the rules, requirements, as well as the limitations would need to be spelled out.
The department spent several months drafting this plan and then sent it to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval. The USDA approved Ohio’s Hemp Program towards the end of 2019, marking another exciting time for the state's agricultural and economic opportunities. A few months later, on March 3, 2020 the ODA opened up the application process. On this date any interested person or business could apply for a hemp cultivation or hemp processing license.
Let’s take a look at how the ODA defined the rules for each of these licenses and how they impact the laws around hemp flower in Ohio.
Cultivating Hemp Flower in Ohio
To grow industrial hemp in the state of Ohio, interested parties must provide certain details, like where their growing site will be and whether it’s farmland, a greenhouse, or an indoor warehouse. There’s also a minimum requirement of plants they must grow to qualify as an industrial hemp cultivator.
Once approved for a license, it will remain valid for a period of three years. Another important rule hemp cultivators must follow is to keep THC levels in their hemp flower to a maximum of 0.3%. Testing is done by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and they must be notified at least 15 days before the planned harvest date. The testing will then be performed and any flower that tests above 0.3% THC must be discarded. In addition, pesticide levels must be tested to ensure they stay below the federal levels.
Universities who want to perform research on hemp can do so without needing a license, but they’re not allowed to sell the plants. The plants studied must be destroyed once the research period is over.
But being a licensed hemp cultivator doesn’t mean those farmers can process the plant and sell hemp flower or extract the CBD to make oil or topicals. To do this, they must also apply for a license to become a hemp processor.
Processing Hemp Flower in Ohio
Those who plan to process hemp crops into consumable products must get a hemp processor license from the ODA first. And the application requires them to list the types of products they want to make.
The Ohio Hemp Program also requires testing. So, before selling any hemp-derived products to consumers, the licensee must send the products to an accredited lab to perform a series of tests. These tests include checking for pesticide and fertilizer residue, heavy metals, residual solvents, mycotoxins, microbial contaminants, and the cannabinoid potency. If the product fails any of these tests it cannot be sold on the open market.
Is CBD Legal in Ohio?
Not only is hemp flower legal to grow, manufacture, and process in Ohio, but it’s also legal to consume. This means CBD is legal in Ohio because CBD comes from the hemp plant. As we touched on earlier, a CBD product like premium hemp flower cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.
A good habit to develop is looking at the THC levels on a product label or within the product description before you buy it. As the ODA stated, mandatory laboratory testing includes analyzing the cannabinoid potency. The results of this test will show the THC content. There are few different types of THC-related cannabinoids in hemp, but the 2018 Farm Bill specifically limits Delta-9 THC. So, look at this amount only while reviewing the lab test, known as the Certificate of Analysis (COA).
Lastly, as a consumer, you don’t need a license to buy CBD flower. You’re welcome to buy without worry because hemp flower buds are legal in Ohio.
Is It Legal To Buy Hemp Flower Online?
You’re comfortable with the legalities around CBD and hemp in Ohio, but want to know if you can buy it online without problems? The simple answer is ‘yes’. But, like most questions, a more detailed answer is usually more beneficial than a short answer. Gaining more insights and understanding will be helpful with your online search.
We’d like to give you advice about finding and buying high quality hemp flower online because there are some important details to hash out first.
If you’re interested in hemp for it’s potential to restore well-being and vitality, then buying organic CBD nugs is where it's at. Companies selling hemp flower may say their products are organic, but here are a few tips to help you prove it.
How to Identify Organic Hemp Flower
Look for a COA on the company’s website or send them an email asking for a copy. This is the report we spoke about previously. The certificate shows the testing results that were performed by an independent lab. Make sure these tests weren’t done internally. To check, there should be a name of a third-party lab listed at the very top of the report.
Once you’ve determined the tests were done by an independent party, you’re ready to look over the details. Organic hemp flower won’t contain any pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, mycotoxins, or microbial contaminants. Confirm all these tests took place. If everything checks out, you know it’s a safe option.
Besides verifying the organic status, do a little research on the best types of hemp strains available. Read about each of the strains effects, their flavor profiles, terpene content, and CBD percentage. Also, check out the customer reviews to see what other people like or don’t like about a strain. These few tips can help you find the best hemp flower around.
Is Smoking Hemp Flower Legal in Ohio?
Once your CBD flower arrives at your house, a question that may follow is — where can you smoke it? Although smoking CBD hemp flower is legal in Ohio, smoking marijuana is not (unless you have a medical marijuana card). And smoking hemp inside your house is much different than smoking it in public.
To error on the side of caution, it’s better to smoke hemp discreetly. If you get caught smoking near a public place, it will be hard to prove you’re smoking hemp and not marijuana. The problem is the flower from these two plants look and smell very alike. In short, consider the environment you’re in before you light up your CBD pre-roll or pipe.
Benefits of Smoking Hemp Flower
Smoking hemp flower provides instant effects. That’s because inhalation helps CBD enter your lungs and then your bloodstream in a matter of minutes. This is a major reason for smoking hemp versus consuming it as an oil or edible. It really comes down to preference and whether you prefer fast-acting effects or a slower onset of effects.
Another benefit of smoking hemp flower is the fact that it contains zero nicotine. For people who enjoy the ritual of smoking but don’t want any nicotine, CBD flower is a great alternative.
We talked a lot about Ohio’s Hemp Program and learned what it takes to become a hemp cultivator and hemp processor. Additionally, you learned that CBD and hemp flower is legal in Ohio. And we also suggested how to identify great quality CBD flower online.
Now that you have the confidence and the know-how to buy some online, take a look at our premium hemp flower that’s organic and top-rated by our customers.
You can review the cannabinoid potency and read about the six stains we carry at Organic CBD Nugs. If you’re not sure which one to try, consider our sampler pack. It’s available in six pre-rolls or as one gram nugs. You get to decide!
Let us know if reading this article brought up any questions for you. If so, we’d be happy to answer them. Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!