Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, State Senator Colleen Burton, and State Representative Will Robinson today hosted a press conference in Tallahassee highlighting proposed legislation that protects Florida’s children from high-potency THC products and brings commonsense reforms to Florida’s hemp statutes.
“While many legitimate agriculture businesses grow and produce quality hemp products, there are deceptive practices that are putting Florida’s children and adults at risk,” said Commissioner Simpson. “Consumers should be aware of the ingredients in products that they consume. Just because a product is profitable doesn’t mean it is safe. We can promote agriculture while also keeping consumers safe, and this bill is a great first step in accomplishing that goal.”
Currently, individuals are using a loophole in Florida’s hemp statutes to manufacture and sell euphoric, high-potency THC products for consumption without restrictions, including to minors. The proposed legislation, SB 1676 and HB 1475, adds an age requirement for the purchase of hemp products intended for consumption, protects Florida’s children by prohibiting marketing that targets children, protects consumers by mandating that products sold in Florida be packaged in a safe container, holds hemp products that are ingested to the same health and safety standards as other food products, and addresses synthetic cannabinoids and restricts the concentration of specified cannabinoids.
State Sen. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), sponsor of Senate Bill 1676 said, “Those large and small agribusinesses adhering to current Florida rules and regulations through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services should not be concerned by the proposed legislation. SB 1676 and HB 1475 simply create a regulatory framework for the safe production and sale of products made with hemp extract. Floridians should feel safe with products being sold in our State. They should have confidence knowing hemp extract products are not marketed in a way that may be confusing or misleading for children who may mistake it for candy. I am taking on this issue as a concerned citizen and grandparent myself, and I look forward to working with all interested parties to ensure hemp products are regulated in a manner which allows for robust commerce. As a matter of fact, since the first committee hearing, I’ve already received valuable input. I look forward to our continued work on this important issue.”
Representative Will Robinson, (R-Bradenton), sponsor of House Bill 1475 said, “I am proud to bring forward this legislation that offers much needed and sensible reforms to Florida’s hemp laws. We’re working with stakeholders on both sides of this issue to ensure we protect our children from euphoric THC products while supporting a growing industry in the Sunshine State.”
For more information about Commissioner Simpson and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FDACS.gov.