If you’ve been keeping up with the politics around hemp and cannabis laws, you may have heard the positive news. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp – which has less than 0.3% THC – was redefined as an agricultural commodity. But what about CBD, a compound derived from hemp and cannabis? is CBD legal in Florida?
Due to the intricacies of federal and state powers, finding out the answer to the question ‘is CBD legal in Florida isn’t so straight forward.
While hemp is legal to grow, sell and produce according to federal legislature, this doesn’t make it legal in every state. In fact, each state must create their own legislature regarding hemp – and many states have, as of yet, not followed suit. So let’s find out:
- Why CBD?
- Is CBD legal in Florida?
- If not now, when?
While many understand what cannabis or hemp is, many are left wondering what is CBD. Simply put, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a component of the cannabis plant. It can be found in all varieties of cannabis, including marijuana and hemp. However, what is arguably one of its most important traits is that CBD – unlike THC – will not get you high.
But that’s not the only reason why people have jumped onto the CBD band-waggon with such enthusiasm. No, the millions of people globally that use CBD, do so for its perceived therapeutic effects.
While humans have been using cannabis for millennia, science has now produced the evidence to back it up. This has meant that people are far more able to access this natural plant, which at the turn of this century was still highly prohibited.
CBD these days is being used to treat everything from:
- Epilepsy symptoms
- Cancer related symptoms
- AIDS - HIV
- Fibromyalgia and a great many more conditions.
Hoards of research and personal anecdotes provide substantial evidence to suggest to cannabis’ powerful therapeutic properties. However, in more conservative states, cannabis and its derivatives are still mired in taboo and misinformation. So, what about the sunshine state? Is CBD Legal in Florida?
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Is CBD Legal in Florida?
While industrial hemp is legal federally, this does not yet apply to Florida. Why? well, it really comes down to state parliament’s laissez-faire attitude to hemp and medical cannabis. While other states rushed to carry through hemp legislature, Florida was not so quick off the mark.
Ironically though, Florida is one of the fastest growing medical cannabis markets out of all the other states. One reason for this has been put down to Florida’s higher than average elderly population – who are more than happy to swap out their medicine cabinets filled with pharmaceutical pills, for nature’s own.
And it’s no wonder. Last July many seniors were forced off of their opioid medications by state law when it issued stronger guidelines for doctors prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. Florida’s largest legal cannabis sellers Trulieve stated that almost half of their customers are over the age of 50, hinting to the mass transferal of ‘pills for pot’.
This makes a lot of sense. Especially as many more elderly people live with conditions that qualify them for Florida’s medicinal cannabis program. Others, unfortunately, do not have access to hemp or cannabis derived products at all.
However, this was all set to change when on Wednesday, February 13th 2019, Florida Senator Rob Bradley filed Senate Bill 1020. He explained that “The fundamental purpose of this bill is to modernize our state statutes to make sure that they are consistent with federal laws and to allow a hemp industry to begin in our state”.
Senator Bradley explained that he filed the bill in response to the federal government passing the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill made all hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC an agricultural commodity.
As it stands, CBD is only legal for floridians with a medical cannabis card. However, this may change very shortly.
When Will Hemp be Legal in Florida?
While many states have moved quickly in filing hemp legislature since the 2018 farm bill, Florida is still in the process of doing so.
However, this does not mean it is not moving forward, and fast. Florida’s booming agricultural industry is making moves to take advantage of new federal Hemp legislation. This means that you may be getting your hemp products sooner rather than later.
Senators voted 39-0 to pass the Senate Bill 1020, after the House approved it in a 112-1 vote Wednesday. Soon enough your CBD products will be far more accessible than before.
Florida’s hemp legislation couldn’t have come at a better time either. Hurricane Michael, which caused 25.1 billion USD in damages to the state last October, decimated much of Florida’s Northwest farmers and timber crops. Hurrying new hemp laws through parliament could mean a massive boost to the economy and provide recompense to the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael.
While a bill has been passed that allows the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create a state hemp program, it may be some months until any hemp legislature is voted on and readily enforced.
What This Means for You
Florida’s hemp program will focus mainly on agricultural and industrial use of hemp, but this doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on your hemp CBD products. In fact, the state’s first director of cannabis, Holly Bell has stated that she sees the program coming in stages. Priority would be placed on hemp derived extracts such as CBD so that the state can keep up with the already booming demand.
Rulemaking will begin no later than August 1st, with the possession of hemp remaining illegal until July 1st.
Want to stay updated with Florida’s hemp and CBD laws? Make sure you check out your state’s hemp, cannabis and CBD legislature before purchasing your hemp derived products.
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Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).