May 6

Last week, Sante Ghetti, Vice President of Advocacy at Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), provided written testimony in support of Ohio Senate Bill 57 (SB 57), which seeks to decriminalize hemp and hemp products by excluding them from the definition of marijuana that is used to enforce controlled substance laws. The bill prohibits the State Board of Pharmacy from listing hemp or hemp products as controlled substances and requires the state Director of Agriculture to establish a Hemp Cultivation and Processing Program to monitor and regulate hemp cultivation and the processing of hemp to produce cannabidiol.

While GCP did not take a formal position on previous medical marijuana legalization legislation that passed, it did advocate for employer protections that were ultimately included in current law that allow employers to enforce a drug-free workplace. In his testimony, Ghetti emphasized that GCP's membership sees merit in aligning state and federal laws relating to hemp and allowing for a responsible, reputable hemp market with the potential to expand jobs and increase prosperity in Ohio.

SB 57 now heads to a third House Agriculture and Rural Development hearing on May 7. GCP will continue to engage in the legislative process to ensure the passage of the bill.