Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been busy signing various bills the past few days, one of those being SB 1020. This bill creates the state hemp program that will be administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The program will regulate cultivation of hemp, addressing issues such as the licensing of growers.
According to the News Service of Florida, Lawmakers passed the bill to take advantage of a 2018 federal law that legalized industrial hemp as an agricultural product. With hemp able to be used in numerous products, supporters contend it could be a boon for the state.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a major hemp supporter, held workshops in Broward County, Tampa and Tallahassee during the past week in anticipation of the bill being signed by DeSantis. Her goal is to have a first set of rules published in July, with the hemp program running by the end of the year.
In a release, Fried said:“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.”
FDACS released draft rules for the new state hemp program, which will be finalized in the coming months.