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Florida is edging closer to a legal hemp industry. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) wrapped its final rulemaking workshop Monday.

The Florida Agriculture Department has released its first draft of proposed rules for a state hemp program. This comes ahead of hemp rulemaking workshops beginning later this week.

Florida’s Director of Cannabis has only been on the newly-created job a few months, but is already helping architect the foundation for a state hemp program.

Business from cannabis is growing fast in Florida; some of it regulated tightly, and some of it without rules. But all of it comes with cash that the banking industry is reluctant to touch. 

 

The first legal industrial hemp seeds in decades are growing now in South Florida soil.

CBD is showing up in ice cream, gummy bears and cocktails, but the state says the products are illegal.

A new state law that will take effect on July 1 will make it legal for Florida farmers to grow marijuana for hemp fiber, which will bring the state in line with a recent federal law permitting the crop.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried ran on a platform of what she called 'the three W’s': weapons, water and weed. Within months of her swearing in, it’s that last W that’s already generating a buzz around the state. 

A bill that would regulate hemp growing and sales, bringing Florida in line with federal laws, unanimously passed in its first Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

Courtesy Second and Seed

The Sarasota Police Department may soon be cracking down on the non-euphoric hemp product cannabidoil (CBD) – a cousin of the marijuana plant.

Hemp Farming Could Soon Be Legal In Florida

Feb 17, 2019

Lawmakers are considering legislation to recognize and regulate the hemp industry. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is tapping Nashville hemp consultant Holly Bell for the department’s cannabis director. Bell was instrumental in getting Tennessee’s hemp industry off the ground, and Fried hopes Bell can do the same in Florida.

“The economic impact for our state is enormous. [The] medical marijuana industry alone is projected to have a $1.6 billion economics, creating more jobs in manufacturing by 2020. Hemp can be a multi-billion-dollar industry here in the state,” said Fried.

A glut of legal marijuana is driving Oregon pot prices to rock-bottom levels, prompting some nervous growers to start pivoting to another type of cannabis to make ends meet — one that doesn't come with a high.

Across the country, advocates are hailing industrial hemp as a miracle crop. Some Floridians even think the plant could surpass oranges as an agricultural powerhouse. But lawmakers in the capitol are urging caution.

Lawmakers Seek To Legalize Industrial Hemp

Oct 20, 2015

Two Democratic lawmakers have breathed new life into an effort to legalize hemp as an agricultural crop in Florida. Proponents of the program are pitching it as an economic boost to Florida.

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.