SB 1698 will force farmers and small business owners to close up shop

Governor DeSantis: Please veto
SB 1698

Florida is the Model for a Safe and Lawful Hemp Industry, Let’s Keep it That Way

Hemp is an agricultural commodity that provides a wide range of wellness benefits through safe and lawful products. Florida's hemp cannabinoid industry is an approximately $19 billion industry that directly supports over 104,000 Florida jobs.

Hemp continues to be wrongfully demonized and confused with marijuana – and it’s important to understand that hemp is NOT marijuana. So why are some state lawmakers unfairly targeting it? 

Legal hemp has provided a steady revenue stream for our state and for hardworking, law-abiding Floridians trying to provide for their families. The Florida Legislature has established a commonsense legal framework that encourages a successful, safe, and competitive hemp industry – but new legislation may jeopardize this agricultural powerhouse. 

Millions of everyday Floridians like veterans and senior citizens turn to the benefits of hemp. 

Florida should continue to be the model for a viable hemp industry, rather than unnecessarily overregulating farmers and small businesses out of the market.

Existing Laws Support Small Businesses and Safeguard Consumers

Laws already on the books ensure the integrity of our hemp industry so only safe, high-quality products can compete in the marketplace.

Lawful Florida Hemp:

Is an agricultural commodity with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration that does not exceed 0.3%

Hemp is not marijuana, and by law contains a lower concentration of delta-9 THC.

Is cultivated by licensed producers, thoroughly tested, and processed in facilities that comply with state food safety standards.

The State of Florida licenses hemp producers and tests hemp crops before they’re processed to ensure legal THC levels. All hemp production facilities must also meet the same safety requirements as grocery stores and other food establishments, and all products must be tested by a third party before they are sold to consumers.

Does not appeal to children.

The Florida Legislature acted swiftly to crack down on bad actors who were marketing their hemp products toward children, often packaging and designing their products to mimic popular candy types and brands.

Meets strict labeling and packaging requirements.

Florida hemp product labels must provide information about the product’s weight and measurements, testing site, manufacturer or distributor, nutrition, THC content, batch number, and any allergens.

The Legislation Will Devastate Florida’s Hemp Industry

SB 1698 would:

  • Create a new definition of hemp that excludes many naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp. Many farmers and business owners have built their businesses and livelihoods around the well-established definition of hemp. Moving the goalposts and restricting some of the natural aspects of this crop will create a huge barrier for many farmers and producers. 
  • Reduce lawful THC limits to below federal levels. The legislation proposes a new calculation for determining how much total THC is present in hemp products. The bills also impose new limits for the amount of THC per serving and per package.
  • Impose a new timeline to test hemp products. Hemp products already undergo comprehensive testing before they reach consumers. The proposed changes would add another hurdle for Floridians who have complied with the laws from the beginning. 

Hurting Florida’s hemp industry hurts Florida’s farmers and small businesses.

Governor DeSantis, please
veto SB 1698.

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