Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally approved Florida’s state hemp program, clearing the way for Florida growers to begin cultivating hemp later this month. Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, who will oversee Florida’s state hemp program through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), offered the following statement:
“After months of incorporating feedback from the public, growers, and industry stakeholders, we are thrilled that Florida’s hemp industry officially begins now. I thank the USDA for their swift review and approval of our state hemp program. By working closely with our farmers, processors, retailers, and consumers, Florida’s state hemp program will become a model for the nation, will set a gold standard for this emerging industry, and will create billions in economic opportunity for Florida. As our economy deals with the impacts of COVID-19, this approval will give our agriculture industry a new alternative crop for many years to come.”
Growing in Florida: With the state hemp program’s rules now filed for adoption and approved by USDA, FDACS will begin accepting applications to grow industrial hemp on April 27, the first day authorized under the state filing timeframe, online at FDACS.gov/Cannabis. More information about growing hemp in Florida may be found here.
Commissioner Nikki Fried has been a consistent champion of Florida’s emerging hemp industry, appointing in 2019 the state’s first-ever Cannabis Director, hosting five workshops and public hearings across Florida on hemp state rulemaking, and working ahead of USDA to finalize rule development. Earlier this week, FDACS had submitted the state’s hemp program to USDA for review and final approval.