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    COVID-19 will not further extend Ohio’s hemp application deadline

    The time period to submit applications to grow or process hemp in Ohio, which was already extended from March 31, will close May 1, 2020, as planned. Representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture indicate that the timeline will not be further extended due to COVID-19.

    As of mid-March, the department received nearly 120 applications, over 100 of which were for cultivation licenses and the remaining for processors. The state does not plan to limit the number of licenses that will be awarded. However, all applications must be completed and submitted by May 1 in order to be considered. Incomplete applications, including applications with pending fee balances, will not be considered for a license.

    To submit an application, an applicant must create an OH/ID account and then apply through the Department of Agriculture Hemp Program webpage. Note that the application process involves a BCI background check. The Ohio Attorney General has issued guidance on where these services are currently being offered under COVID-19 restrictions.

    Applicants must provide a $100 application fee, and, if awarded a license, a cultivator will be required to pay a $500 annual fee for each growing location. Annual processor fees vary based on the product being handled. Both licenses will remain active for three years before needing renewal.

    After the licensing process, there are several state and Department of Agriculture regulations that control what can be grown and harvesting procedures, as well as testing and reporting requirements.

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