It’s full-steam ahead for industrial hemp in Florida now as Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed SB 1020 — the state’s hemp bill — into law. Since provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill ended prohibition on the cannabis crop last December, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has been establishing rules and gathering stakeholder feedback in anticipation of the Governor’s signing.
In reaction to the hemp bill becoming law, State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a prepared news release: “It is a critical step to creating a green industrial revolution, strengthening agriculture with an alternative crop of the future, and expanding access to safe, quality CBD products. Florida has the potential to become the gold standard on hemp.”
Recently, FDACS released its draft rules for the new state hemp program, which will be finalized in the coming months. In addition, the department hosted three public workshops on hemp around the state.
In the meantime, the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project is conducting field trials, developing cropping systems, and assessing early results.
Holly Bell, who was appointed in February as Florida’s first Director of Cannabis, will be overseeing Florida’s hemp program.