Florida’s hemp program became official June 25 when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law.
The bill authorizes the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create the state’s industrial hemp program and to oversee hemp’s cultivation in the state. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial use of hemp and removed it from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances and placed it under the supervision of the USDA.
Nikki Fried, who became Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture earlier this year, is a strong advocate for hemp and medical marijuana in the state. She appointed Holly Bell as Florida’s first Director of Cannabis to oversee the hemp program.
“Tonight’s hemp bill signing marks a transformation in Florida, and a critical step on the journey to creating a green industrial revolution, strengthening agriculture with an alternative crop of the future, and expanding access to safe, quality CBD products. For months, our (department) has been developing rules and gathering public input, and we’re hitting the ground running to build a state hemp program that will be a model for the country,” Fried said in a June 25 statement.
Last week, FDACS released draft rules for the state’s hemp program, and in June the department held three public hemp workshops in the southern, central and northern parts of the state to bring hemp stakeholders together.
“Florida has the potential to become the gold standard on hemp — our deep agricultural heritage, climate and resources, and farming infrastructure will make Florida a national leader in this emerging new economy," Fried said.