By Jeff Greene
Quarantined for over three weeks, you would think this would sidetrack a hemp revolution. Not the case! Hemp retailers that have registered and gotten their retail food permits are deemed essential and remain open, rules are filed and an application for our farmers to begin was launched by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on Monday, August 27. One week after their target date of 4/20. Things are far from sidetracked.
At last count over 50 background checks were received by FDACS as of Monday, April 20 and that is with most background check facilities shut down due to COVID. Farmers are coming out in droves, with over 400 of them scheduled for our Zoom conference on April 24th with The Florida Hemp Council.
Seven extractors have been licensed and more than 5,500 retailers as well. The last step of this industry getting launched is our farmers and they are chomping at the bit to get started. With May being a prime opportunity to plant, this will be a race to get a license and the field ready. Fortunately, Florida may have two, three or even four growing cycles so there will be other chances, even this year.
That’s not to say that there aren’t still unanswered questions. With limited seed options, we still don’t have any comfort in which genetics will grow in Florida and remain USDA compliant for THC levels.
If you haven’t gotten into the game because you thought things would wait out the pandemic or Florida would drop the ball, it’s time to get off the couch. This revolution won’t be stopped, not by government, and not by pandemic.
It’s not too late, check us out at www.TheFLHC.org and pick your lane, whether you want to do retail, process, farm or just provide services to those that do, we can plug you into the industry and get you started.