October 11, 2019
by David H. Thomas, Esq., Janica P. Tucker, Esq. and Devin M. Spencer, Esq., Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
On Aug. three, Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill (S.B.) 57 into law, opening the door for the hemp market and solutions like CBD oil to turn into a element of Ohio’s agricultural solutions. But what are hemp and CBD, and why are they now legal to sell in our state?
The Cannabis plant has “two major species,” marijuana and hemp. Each species are produced up of two significant chemical compounds: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive portion of the plant it delivers the “high” usually connected with marijuana. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion it typically does not lead to any psychoactive effects and is connected with medicinal or therapeutic properties. Although each marijuana and hemp include CBD, “there’s a a great deal larger percentage in hemp, which also has pretty low (much less than .three%) level of THC compared to marijuana.” This explains why in most states, and at the federal level, marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal, as it is the item of a controlled substance.
But hemp-derived CBD is a distinctive story. The U.S. Senate’s 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp (and derivatives like CBD oil) by removing hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Some states are building their Pilot Industrial Hemp Programs—particularly these that did not launch applications below the Farm Bill— whilst other folks are basically nonetheless adapting to the industrial CBD industry.
Ohio has lastly aligned with the federal government’s posture on industrial hemp. S.B. 57 excludes hemp from the definition of marijuana that is applied to enforce Ohio laws governing controlled substances, therefore legalizing hemp solutions. Nonetheless, in contrast to the federal Farm Bill, which did not expressly eliminate CBD from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, Ohio’s new law tends to make CBD solutions commercially readily available in shops.
The legalization of CBD oil solutions raises a lot of new inquiries for enterprises that are nonetheless largely to be determined. Nonetheless, this new Ohio law does not alter employers’ obligations to drug-test specific workers below federal law, such as pilots, CDL drivers and a lot of security-sensitive positions that are nonetheless topic to random testing specifications. Covered employers need to be mindful of these obligations. Ohio enterprises will have to adapt as the market develops and must remain apprised of the developments in Ohio and federal law.