Florida Lawmakers Pass Hemp Regulation Bill Without THC Caps
TALLAHASSEE–Florida lawmakers have passed a revised bill, SB 1676, that introduces child safety regulations and curbs attractive marketing of hemp products to individuals under 21 years.
The bill mandates penalties for “mislabeling” or designing packaging that appeals to children. It also establishes tests for hemp edibles but does not regulate non-ingestible synthetics like shampoos, creams, and lotions. The original proposal sought to limit the THC potency level in hemp products; however, the Florida hemp industry opposed the clause, citing significant losses to businesses. The bill now awaits approval by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The revised bill follows concerns about the safety of children consuming hemp products sold in attractive packaging. The bill sponsor, state Rep. William Robinson, says the legislation aims to keep Florida’s kids safe from cannabis. The proposal passed with a unanimous 119-0 vote in the Florida House, having been approved by the Senate previously.
Advocates of THC caps expressed concerns about the high-potency THC in hemp products sold to minors, which could induce a euphoric state. However, the Florida hemp industry opposed the THC cap clause, fearing that it would significantly reduce demand for their products and hurt businesses. The revised bill does not establish THC potency levels.
The Florida hemp industry has grown in recent years, with the state issuing over 400 hemp cultivation licenses in 2020. According to Hemp Industry Daily, Florida ranks among the top ten hemp-growing US states, with a total of 8,323 acres of hemp cultivated in 2020.
The new regulations will enhance consumer product testing for hemp edibles, which have surged in popularity in recent years. Hemp edibles are available in various forms, including gummies, chocolates, and beverages, a trend that has raised concerns about the safety of children.
The revised bill’s passage marks a significant step in Florida’s regulation of hemp products and reflects a growing trend in states that have legalized hemp. The regulations are aimed at curbing the sale of hemp products that may harm minors.
State Rep. Robinson hailed the bill as a significant step in keeping Florida’s children safe from harmful substances. The bill aims to strike a balance between regulation and overregulation, a delicate balance that Robinson says the bill has achieved.
In conclusion, the passage of SB 1676 marks a significant milestone in Florida’s regulation of hemp products, aimed at ensuring the safety of minors. The revised bill’s approval underscores the growing trend among states that have legalized hemp products to regulate their sale and marketing to protect minors.
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