Special Report: CBD oil in Ohio - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Special Report: CBD oil in Ohio

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

It's already legal in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indiana - and lawmakers in Ohio are on track to make CBD oil derived from hemp legal in the Buckeye State too.

Senate bill 57 has already cleared the Senate and is headed to the house.

Senator Sean O'Brien of Warren is a cosponsor.

He expects the bill to make it to Governor DeWine's desk, and get his signature.

"We're trying to get this done quickly because we recognize not just the importance of the oils but hemp in general," O'Brien says.

The bill, which has broad bipartisan support, would create an industrial hemp program in the state - allowing cultivation of hemp that contains less than .3% of THC.

"It could be Ohio's third-biggest cash crop in the near future," said O'Brien.

"It's been taking us a while to implement the people and structure and put everything in place," says State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan. "Now I think we've started discussions about hemp because we have the medical marijuana aspect going on in the state of Ohio."

Across the state line in Sharon, PA,  Tobacco 4 Less manager Josh Runyan has seen the enthusiasm for CBD oil and the benefits for his customers for several years.

"We have noticed a good growth of customers coming from Ohio," Runyan says. "So our CBD sales have definitely boosted."

The store is one of just a few in our region that will sell CBD oil to folks from out of state.
Many online sellers won't take the risk of legal liability or punishment.

"Being that they're sending it to a state that it's not legal in, that's a little bit different versus a person coming to the state and buying it...in person," says Runyan.

Senate bill 57 would also establish rules through the state agriculture department to make sure people know what they're buying.

Until then, Runyan suggests to "do some research yourself. Don't be afraid to look up the benefits of CBD compared to hemp oil. Hemp oil is completely different."

For now, Ohio is banking on a boost to the state economy once the bill becomes law.

"The farmers are going to increase their jobs and output in making this hemp, the manufacturers of the oil, more people can sell them in their shops and that's going to increase the viability of the product," says O'Brien. "It's a win-win for Ohio."

When it comes to smart shopping for CBD oils, here are a couple of things to consider.

Consumer Reports says many CBD products derived from hemp don't include the THC level on their labels, even though they should.

CR also warns that cannabis plants absorb things like pesticides from the soil, so you'll want to ask the source you buy from about how often plants are tested and where they're grown.

And avoid products that make sweeping or dramatic health claims - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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