After a confusing series of declarations on the part of the Ohio Pharmacy Board, retailers in the Buckeye state are selling off their stocks of CBD products at discount prices to avoid enforcement actions.
With CBD still in the gray area of law nationally, Ohio has taken the inconsistencies to a new level.
CBD products are generally classified depending on their source - hemp or cannabis.
After Ohio approved medical marijuana in 2016, with advocates managing to gain recognition of its health benefits, one would have expected CBD to expand. However, medical cannabis legislation has made once-legal CBD products mostly illegal.
That being the case, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced that the state’s medical marijuana law, HB 523, applies to all marijuana-related products, including CBD.
The Board contends that CBD fall under the law’s definition of medical marijuana, even if it does not contain THC and that it can only be sold at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
In addition, all products must provide the known source (hemp or cannabis) and quantity of active ingredients.
The announcement makes clear that the pharmacy board considers hemp-derived products identical to products sourced from cannabis, even though hemp and marijuana are different.
The issue for shopkeepers is that hemp-derived CBD products have been widely available across Ohio for years. Now, with legalization of MMJ, that all changes.
Therefore, CBD products - regardless of the source - are being taken off the shelves and must be sold at licensed dispensaries, although none have opened yet.
In order to purchase CBD products, buyers will need a recommendation from a doctor.
It is also likely that the price of CBD products will increase as dispensaries no longer have to compete with other retailers.
Ohio was meant to roll out its medical marijuana program on Sept. 8 and eventually plans to license 58 dispensaries.