Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that decriminalizes hemp, opening the door to a whole new agricultural industry. State officials are rolling out their new hemp program that will soon allow farmers to grow the crop and others to process it.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is creating rules for its new hemp programalong with making a request for more money. The department says it needs $12 million to start its testing facility and to bring lab technicians on board. Gov. Mike DeWine says it's now up to farmers to decide if they want to jump into this industry.
"This is a decision that farmers have to make based on what their particular needs are and what's in their best interest so this crop is just an additional crop that they can now legally grow. They're gonna have to see if there's a market for that," says DeWine.
The new law also allows stores to legally sell CBD oil.
The state hopes farmers can be licensed and growing the crop by next spring.