Florida’s grand plan for a multibillion-dollar hemp industry that would make the state an emerging leader in the nation’s latest green rush could be at risk, some industry advocates say.
A federal proposed rule for stringent testing would result in less “CBD content” in hemp crops, making them less attractive to buyers. That’s according to the Hemp Industries Association of Florida, which has complained to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is developing regulations to oversee hemp production.
As the rules stand, they would have a “serious chilling effect on the amount of acres planted” and would “increase prices for the consumer significantly,” according to the association’s letter to the USDA.
“The plants will be in field less time, meaning they’ll have less CBD content, and farmers will not have a good marketable product,” said Ray Mazzie, the Tallahassee-based trade association’s executive director.
The most lucrative product to make with hemp is CBD oil, which some people use for anxiety and pain, but which doesn’t give users the “high” that marijuana does.
If the USDA rules become final, most hemp farming in Florida would become “cost-prohibitive,” Mazzie said. The result would be Florida consumers having to continue to buy out-of-state CBD oil, instead of potentially lower-priced alternatives from Florida growers. The state’s rules for CBD product quality and safety went into effect Jan. 1. [Read More @ SunSentinel]