The Florida hemp bill was passed on to the governor’s office the past Friday morning. Governor of Florida Ron Desantis has two weeks to approve the bill, and his decision is awaited by many. Agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried supports the cause, she urges the governor to meet this matter urgently.
Delaying it further serves no purpose for the economy and the community. She also commented that the bill had met all its major hurdles and the last one is getting approval from the senator’s side. The legislation passed the last session with bipartisan support in addition to which it has many advocates.
Fried stated that the senator must ‘pick up his pen’ she further went on to say ‘If the governor’s office received any of the phone calls that we’ve received over the last five months, he’d understand and support this legalization.’
Hopes to improve Florida’s Economy
The Florida hemp bill is a great step towards improving the local economy and thriving the existing hemp trade. Fried believes that it is one of the crucial steps the government needs to take, to establish a multi-billion-dollar industry in the state.
Currently, there are no permits that allow farmers to benefit from the growing hemp industry while states like Ohio, Texas and Los Angeles are already moving with the federal law in accordance to the farm bill of 2018. This way state by state law can solely work on local hemp trade, and the Florida hemp bill aims to do just that.
Moreover, it can significantly boost the agriculture industry in Florida. It’s an excellent alternative crop to farmers and has growing industrial demand.
If the bill meets approval, it can turn around agriculture and local manufacturing. It will also improve interstate trade deals. Florida can also become a source of hemp for manufacturers all across the United States.
Florida Hemp Bill: The Agriculture Industry
Hemp is a growing raw material in many industrial processes and products. It is a crucial ingredient for over twenty-five thousand products. These products include paper, plastic, construction materials, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products.
Its molecular structure and chemistry make it ideal for many goods; hence, the growing demand by consumers and manufacturers alike. Fried said
Not only it is great for our economy, but it’s also great as an alternative crop for our farmers.
She also believes this is a solution to our climatic crisis.
Most importantly, it’s great for the environment, creating that opportunity to create biodegradable products.
Growing Hemp requires no pesticides, insecticides, or even a fallow period. In fact, it replenishes the soil with nutrients.
Creating Hemp Regulations
The bill cannot be a success with proper regulations to safeguard the interests of the different agents in the supply chain, consumers, and prevents illegal activity in Florida. The Agriculture commission officials will primarily establish these criterions.
It is important to construct the difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp products that will circulate in the market will have trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, this compound needs strict regulations when it comes to the commercial production of hemp products.
Moreover, the Florida hemp bill aims to bring regulations regarding CBD products as well. All products, especially those that are supposed to have medical properties. The ideal situation would be to allow the public to have complete access to helpful medical hemp and CBD products.
They are extremely useful and can treat pain, inflammation, skin diseases, epilepsy, and psychological disorders. It is a multi-purpose health tool, to say the least, so to restrict public access to it is unfair. At the same time, the government does not want the illegal activity of controlled substances while hemp becomes legal.
Aims of the Florida Hemp Bill
One of the major goals is to regulate the output in local hemp and CBD retail shops. These retail points require a frequent check that makes sure they are trading under the given limits. There will be a proper procedure for sampling, testing, and batch control.
Since 2018, most retailers across the United States have had the full autonomy to sell a lot of CBD products without any sampling or testing. That needs to change as the first order of business. Moreover, most consumers trust labels and marketing tactics and do not have full knowledge of what these products contain.
Josh Crum, owner of a Tallahassee based CBD store said,
Anytime something is regulated, they are going to feel more comfortable.
Crum also said,
We’re trying to set a different example for what a CBD store should be — being here for the right reasons.
All these regulations will become official by the second week of July as soon as the bill wins the governor’s approval. In addition to that, agriculture officials plan to schedule meetings throughout the state to improve people’s knowledge regarding the regulations.