Market Overview

RegTalk: Florida Legislature Passes Business Friendly Hemp Program On Last Day Of Regular Session

RegTalk: Florida Legislature Passes Business Friendly Hemp Program On Last Day Of Regular Session

By Susan Ameel, co-founder and partner of Global Regulatory Risk Advisors.

The Florida Legislature passed a bill to implement a hemp program in the state in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill on the last day of the legislative session, May 3, 2019.  The new law will require the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a licensing and oversight program for the cultivation, distribution and sale of hemp and hemp extract.  The department must also provide the USDA with Florida’s hemp plan for approval within 30 days of implementing the hemp regulations.  The USDA’s approval for Florida’s hemp plan is needed to implement the 2018 Farm Bill in the state. 

The new law makes it illegal to cultivate hemp without a license from the department.  The new law does not limit the number of cultivators.  Florida may deny an applicant a license for providing the state with false information, or if the applicant was convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance during the last 10 years. The new law delegates the implementation of the hemp program to the department. We believe that the USDA will drive the final oversight and enforcement requirements as part of the hemp plan approval process. However, the new law does manage to limit the department’s enforcement power by requiring the department to issue a notice of correction to persons who violate the regulations prior to issuing a fine. 

The department will oversee the distribution and sale of hemp extracts that are intended for ingestion.  Although processors and retailers will not need a license, the state will only allow hemp extract to be distributed and sold in the state if it is tested by an independent testing facility and packaged in accordance with the state’s laws and regulations. It is not clear as to what the penalties will be for violating the distribution and sale requirements.

Related Links:

RegTalk: Whether You Want To Sell Your Cannabis Business Or Go Public, Embrace Compliance

RegTalk: DC's Recreational Cannabis Act Is A High Risk, Small Business Act For Cannabis

Photo by Javier Hasse.

Posted-In: cannabis business contributor contributorsCannabis News Politics Markets General Best of Benzinga


Related Articles

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Cannabis Movers

Sign up for our secret cannabis newsletter!
Never miss out on the breaking news in the Cannabis Industry!

How You Can Ratchet Down Risk With These Popular ETFs

Microsoft, Sony Team Up To Work On Gaming Experiences, AI Solutions