Over the past few decades, Ohio has been a leading political battleground with power shifting between Blue Democrats and Red Republicans.
Over the past few months, the Buckeye State has also emerged as a leading battleground over hemp legalization.
As you may recall, in August, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy issued a misguided FAQ taking the position that all CBD oil is marijuana and, therefore, illegal in the State of Ohio except if produced by medical marijuana cultivators and sold through marijuana dispensaries licensed by the state.
Hemp Supporters spoke out, and thousands signed petitions in protest. But unlike in other states where agencies either backed away or refrained from action, Ohio’s Board of Pharmacy has doubled down. The Board has sent agents into stores threatening legal action unless products were removed. A few prosecutors have joined the harassment, suggesting that arrests and/or seizures may be imminent.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is working in Columbus with key legislators to draft and introduce legislation that would both establish an Ohio hemp growing program, as well as clarify the legality of the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD. As part of our effort to change Ohio law to address this, we need legislators and associations that speak for retail businesses at the Ohio statehouse to understand the negative impact these Board of Pharmacy actions are having on commerce. We are asking Buckeyes to reach out to organizations in which they participate and, equally important, to their state legislators to express your support for the legal growth of hemp and sale of products like CBD in Ohio.
If you are from Ohio, we ask you to take two actions TODAY:
- Please contact your state legislators today. Click here to access our easy-to-use web portal that uses your zip code to identify your legislators and then craft a message to email them.
- If you are a member of one of the following organizations, please let them know how important this issue is to you and how this policy is affecting your business right away:
- Ohio Council of Retail Merchants: (614) 221-7833;firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Ohio Pharmacists Association: (614) 389-3236; email@example.com
- The Pharmacy Cooperative: (800) 755-1531
- Ohio Grocers Association: (614) 442-5511; firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not from Ohio, you likely know someone who is. Please share this email and our Web portal with your Buckeye friends – on social media and the real world.