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Florida hemp bills aim to iron out newfound issues


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What was once a struggle to legalize hemp is now a balancing act to please the different interested parties within its trade and maximize the benefits of everyone state and consumer’s cannabis experience.


In Florida, this is certainly the case. Both the Florida House and Senate are currently assessing bills to fine-tune the state’s attitude toward which hemp and CBD products it would allow.


Florida’s legislation aims to clarify seed types allowed in the state and make smokeable hemp illegal for consumers who are not yet 21 years old, according to the Miami Herald. [1]


Hemp seeds approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be the only licit planting seeds under both bills.


“I’d rather be too cautious than open the door and regret it down the road,” Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, told the Miami Herald. “Especially at the expense of farmers ... hemp could be the savior of the economy in North Florida.” [1]


According to the Tampa Bay Times, Montford is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill while Reps. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, and Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, are sponsoring it in the House. [2]


“I think we’re dipping our toe into something that will have repercussions for generations,” Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, told the Herald. “This concerns me. I pray that we move in such a way that we protect future generations.” [1]


In the House version of the bill, an advisory committee called the Industrial Hemp Advisory Council would be created and overseen by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. [2]


The Tampa Bay Times reported that some marijuana and cannabis advocacy groups viewed the restrictions on 21-and-under smokeable hemp purchases as unnecessary, claiming the substance is medicinal in nature. [2]


Across the U.S., controversies have emerged over hemp protections and the CBD trade. In the time since the 2018 legalization of industrial hemp some states have taken more draconian approaches than others, but nearly every jurisdiction has needed some framework in lieu of clear guidance from the federal government.


Disparate test results for some harvest yields have shown “hot” hemp crops with too high a level of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana that makes users high.


Meanwhile, some police departments have been too slow on the uptake to tell the difference between weed and hemp.


Marginal fixes and “glitch bills” like these in Florida are sure to grow in popularity this legislative season as more troubleshooting happens across the country.


Sources

[1] https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/marijuana/article239945888.html

[2] https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2020/02/04/florida-lawmakers-support-these-hemp-bills/

[3] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/state-florida-approves-1st-hemp-211500480.html

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