Florida Passes Hemp Regulations With Zero THC Caps, Heads to DeSantis’ Desk

3.9 min readPublished On: May 3rd, 2023By

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a major win for hemp farmers and CBD product manufacturers, the Florida Senate has passed a bill that eliminates THC caps on hemp. The legislation, which was approved on Monday, will allow for the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products without any restrictions on THC content. This is the same SB 1676, legislative proposal that once sought to place strict regulations on the amount of THC used in products, now only covers how such products can be marketed.

This bill makes a number of changes to the regulation of hemp in this state.  Specifically, the full bill is here below:

  • Adds hemp extract to the definition of “food” to clarify that it requires time and temperature control for product safety and integrity.
  • Defines “attractive to children” to mean a product manufactured in the shape of humans, cartoons, or animals, in a form resembling candy, or containing color additives.
  • Revises the definition of “hemp” to exempt hemp extract, which may not exceed 0.3 percent total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a wet-weight basis.
  • Modifies how hemp extract may be sold in this state, including:
    • Requiring the batch to be processed in a facility that meets certain requirements related to food safety and sanitization;
    • Requiring it to be sold in a container that meets certain requirements, one of which is that the container is not attractive to children; and
    • Limiting the sale of hemp extract to only businesses that meet certain requirements.
  • Prohibits hemp extract products intended for human ingestion, including, but not limited to, snuff, gum, and other smokeless products, from being sold to a person who is under 21 years of age. The bill provides that a person who violates this prohibition commits a second degree misdemeanor, and a subsequent violation within one year is a first degree misdemeanor.
  • Revises the rulemaking authority of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (department) to reflect the approval of the state hemp plan and to require adoption of rules relating to the packaging, labeling, and advertising of hemp extract products.

If approved by the Governor, or allowed to become law without the Governor’s signature, these provisions take effect July 1, 2023.

Hemp, which is a variety of the cannabis plant, is grown for its fibers, seeds, and flowers. Unlike cannabis, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that produces a high. Hemp is used to produce a wide range of products, including clothing, paper, and construction materials, as well as CBD products, which are believed to have a range of health benefits.

Under current Florida law, hemp farmers are required to grow plants with a THC content of no more than 0.3 percent. This limit has made it difficult for farmers to produce high-quality hemp, as even a slight increase in THC content can lead to the destruction of an entire crop.

The new legislation will allow farmers to grow hemp with higher levels of THC, which will enable them to produce more potent and effective CBD products. The bill will also make it easier for CBD manufacturers to create new products, as they will no longer be limited by the low THC content of Florida-grown hemp.

Supporters of the bill say that it will boost the state’s economy by allowing hemp farmers and CBD manufacturers to compete more effectively with other states that have looser THC restrictions. They also argue that the bill will provide much-needed relief to patients who rely on CBD products to manage chronic pain, anxiety, and other conditions.

Opponents of the bill, however, have raised concerns about the potential for abuse of high-THC hemp products. They argue that the bill could lead to the creation of a “gray market” for cannabis products, as well as increased use of CBD products by minors.

Bill sponsor Rep. William Robinson Jr. (R) says he wants legislators help in keeping Florida’s kids safe and away from cannabis.

“Members this is a great bill, it really protects our children. It gets us part of the away there,” said Robinson. “Do I think we need more work in this space? I absolutely do, but I think it gets us in a really good place. It’s a very fine line between regulation and over regulation and I think this bill hits the right sweet spot and I ask for your support.”

If signed into law, the bill will make Florida one of the most hemp-friendly states in the country, joining a growing list of states that have eliminated or relaxed THC restrictions on hemp. With the passage of this legislation, hemp farmers and CBD manufacturers in Florida are poised to take advantage of a rapidly expanding market for hemp products, which are expected to reach $22 billion by 2022.

About the Author: News Team

Newsteam at Highly Capitalized are some of the most experienced writers in cannabis and psychedelics business & finance. We cover capital markets, finance, branding, marketing and everything important in between. Most of all, we follow the money.

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