Matthew Ginder, Senior Counsel
On May 3, 2019, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 1020 (the “Hemp Bill”), which will create a robust commercial hemp industry within the State. The Hemp Bill creates a state hemp program within Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Once signed by the Governor, the Hemp Bill will take effect on July 1, 2019. On that date, hemp and its derivatives, including CBD, will no longer be considered an illegal controlled substance under Florida law.
The State’s forthcoming hemp program will allow individuals to cultivate hemp, and distribute and sell “hemp extracts” within the State. Unlike Florida’s limited medical marijuana program, the Hemp Bill does not place a cap on the number of licenses available for the cultivation of hemp. In order to cultivate hemp, a person will apply to FDACS for a license, submit fingerprints for a background check, and provide the location of where hemp will be cultivated. Once issued a license, the licensee will be permitted to cultivate only hemp seeds and cultivars that are certified in the State.
Under the Hemp Bill, hemp extract – defined as a compound of hemp that is intended for ingestion – may be distributed and sold in Florida if the product meets certain testing and packaging requirements. Thus, a legal pathway to sell CBD products has finally been created under Florida law. Note, however, that Florida’s new law will not supersede federal laws and regulations, which must be considered when selling CBD products.
Florida’s commercial hemp program will not become operational for several more months. Indeed, FDACS must first promulgate rules for the program. Under the Hemp Bill, FDACS must begin the rule-making process for certain aspects of the program by August 1, 2019. Within 30 days after adopting rules, FDACS must seek approval of Florida’s state plan from the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) in order for the State to have primary regulatory authority over its program. The USDA has announced that it will not begin reviewing state plans until after it promulgates its own regulations, which is expected to occur sometime in the Fall of this year.
If you are preparing to enter Florida’s new hemp market, please contact Matthew Ginder at
firstname.lastname@example.org or your Greenspoon Marder attorney.
About Greenspoon Marder
Greenspoon Marder is a national full-service business law firm with over 200 attorneys and offices across the United States. We are ranked among
American Lawyer’s Am Law 200, as one of the top law firms in the U.S. since 2015. Our firm was founded with the goal of providing the highest quality legal services at the highest value for our clients. Each of our clients is unique and so are their legal needs. We believe no one size fits all for professional services. Our lawyers offer flexible and creative solutions to meet our clients’ respective needs. Our mission is to understand the challenges our clients face, build collaborative relationships and craft solutions with a focus on strategic goals.
Natalie Villanueva, Director of Marketing
954.333.4308 | email@example.com
This Greenspoon Marder LLP Client Alert is issued for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed or used as general legal advice nor a solicitation of any type. Please contact the author(s) or your Greenspoon Marder LLP contact if you have any questions regarding the currency of this information. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision. Before you decide, ask for written information about the lawyer’s legal qualifications and experience.