Ohio Hemp Businesses Hire Powerful Statehouse Lobbyist

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A powerful Statehouse lobbyist is leading a new coalition representing Ohio’s burgeoning hemp industry.

Grant Street Consultants’ Neil Clark was appointed Wednesday. That same day, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing Ohio farmers and university researchers to grow industrial hemp and legalizing sales of hemp-derived cannabidiol oil, or CBD.

The measure still needs Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature.

Ohio would become the 47th state to regulate hemp. The Ohio Farm Bureau has predicted it would become the state’s third largest crop behind corn and soybeans.

The industry coalition includes three entrepreneurs from Green Light Acquisitions, which is now in the hemp business.

The group invested $30 million in a failed 2015 effort to legalize marijuana that laid the groundwork for medical marijuana and hemp legalization in Ohio.