The Florida Legislature passed a bill during the 2019 session that will create an industrial hemp industry in the state. This follows changes in federal law that legalized hemp as an agricultural product, which can be used to create a variety of products, and that some see as a possible new cash crop for Florida farmers to grow.
Once signed by Governor DeSantis -- and all signs point in that direction -- the new law would create a hemp program in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which is led by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is a major cannabis advocate herself. It will provide a regulatory framework that includes requiring licenses for people or businesses that want to grow hemp, and requiring them to provide detailed information about where hemp is being cultivated.
We explore the world of industrial hemp during this hour, starting with an update on the University of Florida’s industrial hemp pilot project, which kicked off about a year ago. We're joined by Dr. Zachary Brym, he’s an assistant professor of agronomy at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, and he’s Program Coordinator for the university’s hemp pilot project.
Then we'll meet Josh Hendrix, he is founder of Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, and he serves on the Board of Directors for the US Hemp Roundtable, the National Hemp Association, and Friends of Hemp. Also serves as the Director of Business Development Domestic Production for CV Sciences, which makes products containing CBD, which is extracted from industrial hemp.