Industrial hemp has the potential to be a big cash crop for growers and business interests alike. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried knows this and has announced the members of the state’s new Hemp Advisory Committee, which will help guide the rulemaking as well as local emerging hemp industry development.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the committee will meet monthly to develop a framework for the emerging hemp industry. The 20-member committee will advise on innovations and solutions from conception and production, to market entry and market growth, with an overall goal of advancing Florida as a national leader for hemp. Cannabis Director Holly Bell will be responsible for organizing the committee and helping to direct goals and workflow.
Florida Hemp Advisory Committee Members:
- AJ Fabrizio: Fabrizio is an epileptic and biochemical expert specializing in cannabinoids. He has worked on numerous legislative efforts pertaining to cannabis and hemp.
- Moriah Barnhart: Barnhart, whose daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of two, founded CannaMoms, a nonprofit which works to help children like her daughter. She has worked tirelessly to implement cannabis legislation at the national and state levels.
- Glenn Whitworth Jr.: Whitworth is a third-generation produce farmer. He sits on several agricultural boards, where he advocates for farmers through community engagement.
- Kyle Story: Story is a fourth-generation farmer who grows citrus, peaches and blueberries. He is active in Florida Citrus Mutual, Farm Bureau, and his community.
- Erik Range: Range helped contribute “diversity language” to Florida’s medical marijuana legislation during the 2017 legislative session. He has served as a cannabis consultant.
- Leonard K. Samuels: Samuels is a partner and a member of the Dispute Resolution Team at Berger Singerman LLP. He represents companies and individuals in the cannabis industry.
- Rod Hollingsworth: Hollingsworth is the President and CEO of Sun Bulb Co., which specializes in tropical plants and gardening products. He serves as Managing Director at CitriSun Nurseries LLC, and sits on the Board of Directors of Columbia Care Florida.
- Keily Stiff: Stiff has a background in entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups, and has been involved in Florida’s cannabis industry for several years.
- David Hasenauer: Hasenauer is a hemp industry advocate and veteran. He currently serves as the CEO of Green Point Research, an international hemp biomass originator and processor.
- Tara Tedrow: Tedrow is a shareholder and the chair of the Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA. She teaches the first-ever Marijuana Law and Policy class at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.
- Bobbie Golden: Golden owns a goat and sheep ranch in Jefferson County where she is active in the community, serving on the Jefferson County Farm Bureau’s Board and on its Soil and Water District Board.
- Cole Peacock: Peacock comes from a family of fifth-generation peanut farmers in Florida. He has spent the past five years working in the cannabis and hemp industries.
- Mitch Hutchcraft: Hutchcraft is Vice President of Real Estate for King Ranch and Consolidated Citrus, LP. He assists the company in navigating unique challenges associated with changing governmental regulations.
- Dr. Richard Douglas: Douglas is a Partner at PMK Associates, Inc., a strategic marketing and communications firm that specializes in agriculture. Douglas was previously appointed as the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and served as the chief trade negotiator while acting as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.
- Dr. Will Wadlington: Wadlington is a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Florida Hemp Pilot Project, where he researches diverse hemp varieties and production methods.
- Robert “Bob” Clayton: Clayton is a retired mechanical engineer who built the first hempcrete house in Florida and has since devoted his time to advocating for hemp. He also founded Florida Hemp Processing LLC.
- Jason G. Welz: Welz is President and CEO of Knight Enterprises. He recently co-founded The Clearwater Hemp Corporation, an industrial hemp processing business.
- Hal M. Lucas: Lucas practices corporate transactional and business litigation law at Lucas Savitz P.L., and has significant experience with cannabis law.
- Jason Winkler: Winkler has a background in the medical and business industries, he helped to form Novium, which specializes in cannabis and hemp-related therapies.
- Jeremy Rolling: Rolling has been growing peanuts, cotton, and watermelon in the Florida Panhandle for 15 years. He is President of the Holmes County Farm Bureau and serves on the National Peanut Board. Jeremy plans to grow hemp.
“We’re on the verge of a historic opportunity – a chance for farmers to access an alternative crop, consumers to access safe CBD products, and Floridians to participate in this new green economy, while strengthening agriculture and other sectors of Florida’s economy,” Fried remarked in a prepared news release.