Florida legislators unanimously passed two bills in committee hearings to refine and redefine the Sunshine State’s hemp program.
C.S./S.B. 1876 would, among other considerations, allow farmers to plant any seeds deemed safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would expand farmers options greatly from Florida’s state-specific hemp farming program, which was signed into law July 1, 2019. It states that growers only use hemp seeds and cultivars approved by a certifying agency or university conducting a hemp pilot project.
In the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday morning, co-sponsor Bill Montford (D) and his bipartisan sponsors in both houses wanted to support farmers but do so with caution.
“I’d rather be too cautious than open the door and regret it down the road,” he told the Miami Herald. “Especially at the expense of farmers ... hemp could be the savior of the economy in North Florida.
The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee also unanimously approved the bill.
The proposed legislation revises the definition of food to include hemp extract. Hemp extract that does not meet certain requirements will be considered adulterated or misbranded. And the proposed legislation would also prohibit the sale of inhaled hemp extract products to individuals under 21 years of age.
Read the full text of the proposed legislation here: