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Nikki Fried

“This president is a disaster for American farmers," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in response to President Donald Trump's trade policies.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday renewed attacks on President Donald Trump’s trade policies, citing new reports that China has halted imports of U.S. agricultural goods.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Congressman Darren Soto say retaliatory tariffs on American goods are hurting Florida farmers.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Florida’s Democratic lawmakers are calling on President Trump to scale back tariffs on imports from China.

Nikki Fried
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried came to a St. Petersburg Exxon gas station Thursday with a message to drivers: be aware of illegal credit card skimmers at gas pumps, or your wallet might get taken for a ride.

Total Cost For Gov. DeSantis, Florida Cabinet's Trip To Israel Released

Jul 15, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

By Ana Ceballos / News Service of Florida

More than a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Cabinet members wrapped up a six-day trip in Israel, the price tag of the mostly privately funded trip was revealed on Friday. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

News Service of Florida

Florida’s new Cabinet lineup is once again a millionaires’ row.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Attorney General Ashley Moody were elected to the Cabinet in November, joining returning Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. And while the new lineup is slightly less well-off than the previous Cabinet, Fried, Moody and Patronis each top seven figures in net worth, according to newly filed financial-disclosure reports.

Everglades Fire Burns 17,000 Acres

Jun 25, 2019
A burning wildfire off in the distance
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES

A lightning strike started a 17,000-acre wildfire in the eastern Everglades that threatened Monday to cause smoky conditions on Interstate 75 through Alligator Alley, according to the Florida Forest Service. 

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

During an appearance Friday with the Tampa Tiger Bay Club, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she takes “very seriously” her role as the “voice” of the Democratic Party.
Photo by Steve Newborn

As the only Democrat currently holding a statewide office, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried said she assumes a particular responsibility to make sure her party’s concerns are represented in Tallahassee.

So much so that she considers herself “the head of the party” in Florida.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Friday encouraged supporters of a new state hemp industry to tell Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign a bill that would lead to a regulatory framework for the crop.

The state of Florida has officially launched an investigation into the group that raised over $23 million online, in a stated effort to privately build President Trump’s proposed border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“In response to consumer complaints, including those referred by the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has opened an investigation into this charity,” Department of Agriculture spokesperson Franco Ripple told WLRN in an email.

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. 

Gummy bears, oils, cocktails, ice cream ... Products with CBD in them have practically become ubiquitous in South Florida. The chemical CBD comes from the cannabis plant and that fact is leaving business owners in a kind of grey zone. But increasingly the federal government is taking notice, while regulations from the state are forthcoming.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the legislature to provide 77 full time employees to help process background checks for gun licensing.

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.

CBD is now legal in Florida, but not all products are created equal.
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.

A non-euphoric strain of cannabis is being sold in stores across Florida. It’s available as oils, edibles, and even flower. But as questions about the legality of it linger, CBD remains in limbo.

Citing a “tremendous safety threat,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is asking President Donald Trump to use his executive power to allow banks to do business with state-authorized medical marijuana companies. 

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.

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried gave details Wednesday about the new role she hopes the state Director of Cannabis will fill. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried added sexual orientation and gender identity to workplace protections at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried, the lone Democrat to hold one of the state’s three Cabinet positions, is the first to add such protections to hiring rules that address race, religion and disability.

'Groveland Four' Posthumously Pardoned

Jan 11, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the independently elected Cabinet granted a pardon to four African-American men accused of raping a white woman almost 70 years ago.

DeSantis announced the posthumous pardons Friday for the men known as the Groveland Four.

A day before her inauguration incoming Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stopped by Second Harvest of Big Bend in Tallahassee to help fill bags and boxes with food for families. She took a break from community service Monday to address the media.

Eight Florida youth have amended a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to protect them from climate change to name Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis.

The lawsuit alleges the state has violated the youth’s constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by supporting policies that accelerate climate change.

Newly-Elected Ag Commissioner Promises Audit Of Gun Program

Dec 3, 2018
Sam Turken / WLRN

Florida's newly elected agriculture commissioner is vowing to conduct a "deep dive" into the state's concealed weapons permit program once she is sworn into office.

Bill Would Move Concealed Weapons Licenses To FDLE

Nov 30, 2018

The state’s concealed-weapons licensing program would be moved to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, under a measure proposed Thursday by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation. 

Weapons. Water. Weed. Nikki Fried successfully campaigned on those "three W's" to become Florida’s new agriculture commissioner. The former lobbyist defeated Republican challenger Matt Caldwell in an extremely tight race that went to a manual recount. The margin of victory was only 6,000 votes or .08%.

Fried has an ambitious and progressive policy platform but faces some difficult challenges. She will be the lone Democrat elected to Florida's cabinet and expects to face pushback on policies related to gun control and climate change.

Florida Certifies Results Of Contentious 2018 Election

Nov 20, 2018
Mark Scheiner/WUSF

Trump-allied Republican Ron DeSantis was formally elected governor of Florida and outgoing Gov. Rick Scott elected U.S. senator on Tuesday when the state certified election results two weeks after tight margins prompted tumultuous recounts.

Caldwell Concedes In Florida Ag Commissioner Race

Nov 19, 2018
WLRN

Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell said Monday he won't challenge his loss to Democrat Nikki Fried in Florida's agriculture commission race — a contest that was the closest of the three statewide seats that went through a recount.

Former medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried is on the verge of being the only Florida Democrat to capture a statewide win, gaining votes over Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell in the race for agriculture commissioner after a manual recount was completed Sunday.

The manual recount also had no effect on the outcome of three razor-thin legislative races, in which Democrat Janet Cruz flipped a state Senate seat and House Republicans picked up one seat and held onto another.

The candidates to be Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture have a number of stark differences -- not least of which are their backgrounds.

State Rep. Matt Caldwell, the Republican candidate, is a seventh generation Floridian from a family of farmers. Democrat Nikki Fried, a public defender and medical-marijuana lobbyist, is from urban South Florida.

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