Tallahassee, Fla. – With April as National Cannabis Awareness Month, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are working to educate Floridians on cannabis, its products and benefits, and its economic impact on our state. FDACS manages and regulates Florida’s state hemp program and cannabis products, including CBD.
“Cannabis can create a green industrial revolution that powers successful crops, great jobs, safe products, and a whole new industry here in Florida. Hemp has the potential for more than 25,000 uses including textiles, biocomposite building materials, biodegradable packaging products, and food and medicinal products like CBD, while serving as an excellent crop for our farmers. Meanwhile, more than 500,000 Floridians are legal medical marijuana patients, choosing a natural alternative to treat chronic pain and illnesses,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “For more than 70 years, American entrepreneurs, farmers, and consumers were denied the boundless opportunities presented by cannabis. But in Florida we’re now putting it to work, creating an estimated $370 million impact from hemp, while Florida ranks in the top five states for cannabis job growth as well as $1.2 billion in medical marijuana sales. The future is bright for cannabis in the Sunshine State, and we’re proud to celebrate that growing impact during National Cannabis Awareness Month.”
“Florida has had the historic opportunity to provide farmers with access to a potentially lucrative alternative crop, and I’m grateful to be a part of it all,” said Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis at FDACS. “Looking back on this past year, we have so much to be proud of – and yet, Floridians have even more to look forward to. During Cannabis Awareness Month, our goal is to work diligently in promoting this industry, with the future of our farmers and health of our consumers in mind.”
Hemp in Florida: Since FDACS began accepting applications to grow industrial hemp on April 27, 2020, Florida has approved more than 800 hemp cultivation permits for farmers in 65 of Florida’s 67 counties, with more than 30,000 acres approved for planting. More information about growing hemp in Florida may be found here. Commissioner Nikki Fried has been a consistent champion of Florida’s emerging $370 million hemp industry, appointing in 2019 the state’s first-ever Cannabis Director, hosting five workshops and public hearings across Florida on state hemp rulemaking, working ahead of the USDA to finalize rule development, and providing feedback to the USDA on its draft rules.