CBD Oil Products in Legal Grey Area Under Ohio Law
In the state of Ohio, as opposed to elsewhere in the Midwest, cannabidiol (CBD) is classified as Medical Marijuana; most CBD products on the market are derived from Hemp Cannabis Sativa Specified as “all parts of a plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds of a plant of that type; the resin extracted from a part of a plant of that type… the resin extracted from the mature stalks, fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination,” (Ohio Revised Code Title (37) XXXVII 3719.01 (O)), the definition of “Marihuana” within the state of Ohio includes CBD sourced from Cannabis Indica, which is sourced from the resin of the plant.
Why does this matter?
You are probably wondering “why do I need to care how Ohio classifies CBD?” Fair question. If you ever use CBD oil, then this information is incredibly important, and I’ll get to why. The most recent house bill in Ohio regarding Hemp and Marijuana, House Bill 523 (passed in 2016), prohibits any non-licensed dispensaries from selling what is designated “Medical Marijuana.” As CBD lacks any intoxicating qualities, it does not have the same effects as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is associated with the type of “high” that people receive from cannabis products that contain THC. “Medical Marijuana” as defined by the state of Ohio is “marijuana that is cultivated, processed, dispensed, tested, possessed, or used for a medical purpose.” (Sub H.B. No. 523, sec. 3796.01 (A) As I had already discussed before, the state of Ohio includes CBD derived from Cannabis Indica in its definition of “Marihuana,” and because of this, its definition of “Medical Marijuana” also includes CBD derived from Cannabis Indica, but not Hemp Cannabis Sativa.
Purchasing CBD in Ohio
So what does this all mean for the status of CBD in the state of Ohio? It means that, unless licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce and the State Board of Pharmacy (Ibid., sec. 3796.02),no dispensary can sell or offer CBD products derived from a specific type of Cannabis. But what if you have one of the pre-approved medical conditions (epilepsy, alzheimer’s, etc.) Sub H.B. No. 523, sec. 519.21 (D.6.a-v) that entitles you to receive a medical card in the state of Ohio that allows for the purchase of Medical Marijuana? Then you are fully able to purchase CBD for use, no problems. But unfortunately, there are some snags in the system, and there currently are none of the 56 promised dispensaries in operation run by the state of Ohio. However, this does not mean that there is no way to get CBD in the state of Ohio. Some business owners, like Kevin Kidd, continue to operate their stores and sell CBD products, despite a lack of licensure. Kidd has argued that, since CBD oil he uses is hemp-derived, and not marijuana-derived, he can continue to sell CBD oil products. As of yet, he has not been required to shut down or to stop selling CBD products.
For now, the sale and use of CBD in the state of Ohio will remain in an awkward, legal grey area, invariably hurting those who either rely on CBD for its medicinal qualities, or for those who rely on the sale of CBD to keep their stores open. If the people of Ohio are lucky, the state’s Pharmacy board will start issuing licenses to businesses soon; however, until that time, CBD will have to be purchased at the older establishments that sold, and continue to sell, hemp-based products.
CBD and Midwest States
For the people of other Midwestern states, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana, hemp and hemp-derived products continue to be fully legal under both State and Federal law. Their purchase is permitted, as is their use and sale. So, despite Ohio’s setbacks, the Midwest is on track to be a region that aligns with Federal law, where citizens can enjoy the benefits of hemp-based CBD products. At Green Wellness Life, we operate under that federal law and will continue to service our customers throughout the Midwest, including the great state of Ohio (even though there are Buckeyes there.)
By Quinton Charles Op-Ed Blogger