ODA Sets Deadline for Public Comment October 30, 2019
When the Ohio legislature legalized hemp as a crop in August, many farmers were excited to add the plant to their list of crops with hopes of increasing their bottom lines. However, the first step was for the State to draft rules on how they intend to regulate the crop. To that end, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has issued its proposed rules for hemp cultivation and processing and are seeking public comment by October 30th.
Rules Categorized Under Cultivation and Processing
ODA broke down the rules into two separate categories: Cultivation and Processing. Interested parties are encouraged to read the rules carefully. The Cultivation section of proposed rules is linked here. And for those wanting more information of hemp processing rules, click here.
The state has defined cultivation as “to plant water, grow, fertilize, till or havest a plant or crop.” And it also includes “possessing or storing a plant or crop on premises where the plant was cultivated until transported to the first point of sale.” The state requires anyone wanting to grow hemp obtain a license from the ODA. As indicated in the proposed rules, applicants must submit their application between the window of November 1 and March 31, along with an application fee of $100, once licensed, they will need to pay an additional license fee of $500 for each growing location. Applicants/owners must also submit to a criminal record check.
For an in-depth review of the proposed rules written by Peggy Hall, Agricultural Law Specialist at OSU Extension, click on her helpful article here.
The ODA welcomes public comment and have set up this link to facilitate the process. All comments must be submitted before the October 30th deadline. This is your chance to help guide how the State regulates the industry moving forward.
Grant Street Consultants expects the Department to release its final hemp licensing regulations shortly after it reviews public comments.