COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Department of Agriculture began accepting online applications Tuesday from those interested in growing and processing hemp, a strain of the cannabis plant with numerous industrial uses.
Applications are for the 2020 growing season. Cultivators are required to grow at least 1,000 plants on a minimum of a quarter acre.
While Ohio, Louisiana and New Jersey are currently the only states with hemp programs approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hemp cultivation is legal in all but a handful of states.
The Ohio Legislature legalized industrial hemp cultivation and the processing and sale of CBD products last year in a bill Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed in July.
Ohio hemp must test at no more than .3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana.
Fiber and stalks from hemp plants are used to make products that include clothing, rope, textiles and biofuels. Extractions from plant material are used to make CBD. Hemp seeds are used in health food products.
Ohio Farm Bureau officials have said industrial hemp will help farmers diversify their operations as prices for commodity crops such as corn and soybeans remain low.