Florida farmers could be planting hemp before 2019 ends, agriculture commissioner says

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 18:02:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said farmers could be planting hemp yet this year.

Fried was at the third and final hemp workshop in the state— this one in Tallahassee.

Ag officials said all three were packed.

People came to see proposed rules to govern hemp and CBD products.

Fried told a news conference that her office expects some changes following public feedback, but was optimistic planting wasn’t too far off. She believed a finalized set of rules would be ready for review in mid-July, then submitted to federal agriculture officials for approval.

If there aren’t major rule challenges— Fried said planting could begin in the fall.

The hemp bill still lacks the governor’s signature. Fried said she recently asked his staff about that. “Again— asking if they had any questions or concerns. It didn’t seem that was the case. That it was just a matter of them getting through the budget. We saw that on Friday. Hopefully they will take up some more policy bills and start putting together a game plan for this week.”

Fried expects hemp to become a $10-20 billion dollar industry in Florida.