GOP Gov. Mike DeWine Pushes For Crackdown On Unregulated Intoxicating Hemp In Ohio And Nationwide

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is calling on lawmakers to ban Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC and their derivatives found in unregulated hemp edibles and inhalable products. These products, often referred to as “intoxicating hemp,” are currently being sold in Ohio without any regulations or oversight.

During a press conference, Governor DeWine expressed his concerns about the sale of these intoxicating hemp products, stating that they are intoxicating and should be banned. Currently, these hemp products can be sold anywhere in Ohio, and there are no laws in place to prohibit their sale.

The issue stems from a loophole created by the 2018 Farm Bill, which categorizes any cannabis product with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC (the primary psychoactive component in cannabis) as hemp and legalizes its sale across the country. This has allowed gas stations, convenience stores, and CBD shops to stock their shelves with potentially potent yet unregulated substances.

To address this loophole, State Senator Steve Huffman is drafting a standalone bill to regulate intoxicating hemp. Senator Huffman aims to strike a balance between protecting public health and preventing undue burden on legitimate CBD retailers. He acknowledges that there are excellent CBD products on the market, but there are also products manufactured in a dangerous and potentially intoxicating way that require regulation.

It is worth noting that an earlier version of regulations regarding Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC was removed from the state budget in the summer of 2023, leading to the current lack of oversight.

Governor DeWine’s comments about intoxicating hemp came during a press conference about his recent executive order to ban a bill that would restrict transgender healthcare. The governor faced criticism from former President Donald Trump, who called him a “stiff.” However, DeWine also urged the legislature to focus on getting the cannabis industry up and running quickly.

As the Ohio legislature reconvenes, Governor DeWine hopes that they will address the marijuana issue and establish regulations for the cannabis industry. While the House is scheduled to meet next week, the Senate is not scheduled for its first session until later in January.

In conclusion, Governor DeWine is calling for a ban on intoxicating hemp products in Ohio. He highlights the need for regulations to protect public health and prevent the sale of potentially dangerous and intoxicating substances. It remains to be seen how lawmakers will respond to this call and whether Ohio will establish regulations for the cannabis industry.

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