Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

Florida’s Senate floridaAgriculture Committee has voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 902, a proposal to explicitly legalize the production and cultivation of hemp.

Senator Jeff Clemens, the bill’s primary sponsor, says his bill would create numerous jobs and would be a boon to the state’s economy.

If passed into law, the proposal – titled the Hemp Industry Development Act – would direct the state’s Agriculture Department to distribute licenses to those wanting to cultivate hemp, and to regulate the plant to assure that crops don’t have a THC percentage above 0.3%.

Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda has a companion bill in the House (HB 363), though it has yet to receive a hearing in committee.

“Somebody is making a profit off of those products, and it isn’t Floridians,” says Representative Vasilinda. “What we’re trying to do is give our agriculture community another option to be able to grow a crop that will be used in a variety of products that have already found their way onto shelves in stores all over Florida.”

According to a recent report by the Hemp Industries Association, there was over $600 million in hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2014, not including sales from many major retailers such as Whole Foods and Costco.

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