Proposed Florida Legislation Aims to Implement Additional Safety Regulations for Hemp Products

Tallahassee, FL: Florida lawmakers are pushing for stricter regulations on hemp products to protect consumers.

State Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Lakewood Ranch, sponsors House Bill 1613, which outlines regulations for hemp extract. Businesses and food establishments are not allowed to have hemp products that could appeal to children.

During his presentation to the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on Monday, Gregory discussed his proposed legislation for increased regulation of the hemp industry in Florida.

Gregory reports that the bill’s fiscal impact on the state is uncertain, involving costs for testing product potency, staff, and law enforcement oversight. He mentioned that he is unsure about the fiscal impact on the state’s medical marijuana industry but believes it would be beneficial.

Jonathan Soloman, a Florida business owner focused on hemp products, expressed his opposition to the bill, citing potential job losses for his company.

Soloman warned that the approval of HB 1613 would result in the loss of 100,000 jobs in Florida. “That’s more than $10 billion in taxable revenue generated in Florida.”

A new regulation in Florida mandates that hemp extract must have a certificate of analysis from an independent testing laboratory or contain no more than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to be manufactured or sold in the state.

“All you have to do is look at the data, so in 2016 there were a total of eight phone calls to the Florida Poison Control Center regarding the ingestion or inhalation of hemp products,” Gregory said. “In the previous year, there were 1,686.”

Gregory emphasized that the bill aims to protect consumers rather than criminalize behavior. It is now mandatory for packaging to include the toll-free number for the National Poison Control Hotline. This requirement was implemented by Gregory due to cases of Floridians requiring assistance after consuming these items.