TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson issued the following statement regarding litigation challenging Florida’s efforts to protect children from dangerous high-potency hemp extract products and the implementation of SB 1676:
“To this plaintiff, who wants to fight our department’s effort to keep children safe – bring it on.
“As Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, one of my top responsibilities is ensuring the safety of our food and protecting Florida’s consumers. Prior to the changes made to Florida law last year, hemp extract products were out of control and sold without restrictions, including to children and with marketing and packaging specifically targeting them.
“As a direct result of Florida’s negligent oversight of this industry, children across our state were ingesting high-potency hemp extract products, which can have real and serious medical consequence. In 2022, nearly 1,000 children were exposed to high-potency THC products across Florida that resulted in calls to Poison Information Centers. We worked with the Legislature to create much-needed, common-sense, and industry-supported guardrails around these products.”
During the 2023 Legislative Session, Commissioner Wilton Simpson worked with the Florida Legislature to reform Florida’s hemp law to better protect consumers and children. SB 1676 added age requirements for the purchase of hemp products intended for human consumption, protected Florida’s minors by prohibiting marketing that targets children, protected consumers by mandating that products sold in Florida be packaged in a safe container, and holds hemp products that are ingested to the same health and safety standards as other food products.
Since July 1, the department has uncovered over 107,400 packages of hemp extract products targeting children.