Florida House Panel Pushes Bill To Limit Hemp CBD

Florida House Panel Pushes Bill To Limit Hemp CBDYo, peep this – a Florida legislative subcommittee just put the squeeze on psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC and Delta 10. This move was made via House Bill 1613 and got the green light from the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee with an 8-4 vote.

So, check it, back in 2018, the Farm Bill said it was all good to get down with hemp and its products on a federal level. This led to a mad rush of new hemp businesses popping up all over the country. Under the law, if cannabis has less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC (which is the stuff that makes you feel lifted when you smoke weed), then it’s considered legal hemp.

The hemp game has been blowing up, yo! There’s all kinds of new products out there now, including ones with psychoactive cannabinoids like Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC. You can scoop these products up at places like corner stores, gas stations, and smoke shops everywhere. That’s why lawmakers in many states are trying to regulate these hemp-derived cannabinoids.

The deal is, this new legislation would put the kibosh on Delta 8, Delta 10, and other hemp-derived cannabinoids like hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), tetrahydrocannabinol acetate (THC-O), tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv). It’s all about protecting consumers, according to Republican State Representative Tommy Gregory, who’s behind the bill.

But here’s where things get tight – this bill would also redefine hemp by saying that hemp extract can’t have more than 0.3% total delta-9-THC concentration or exceed certain limits per serving and per container. This would basically shut down a lot of products currently on the market, like full-spectrum CBD oils.

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Now, Jeff Sharkey, who reps for the hemp industry, says this bill is all about keeping consumers safe from bogus cannabinoids that aren’t naturally found in cannabis. These fake products haven’t been tested as much as the real deal like Delta 9 THC and CBD.

Sharkey said, “This is an attempt by the Legislature to reign in some of the synthetic products that are out there under the guise of hemp.”

Some folks in the hemp industry get where they’re coming from. They think some regulation is cool. But they’re worried that HB 1613 is too much and will straight-up wreck Florida’s hemp game. And a lot of those businesses are small-time local spots.

At a hearing for HB 1613, Democratic Representative Hillary Cassel was straight-up real about it – if this bill goes through and gets signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, it’s going to wreck Florida’s hemp economy.

She told folks in the industry at the hearing, “You will go to another state…And we will find our consumers and Floridians in a position where they will be buying [hemp products] from the black market, buying it off the internet and having no idea what’s contained within that product.”

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Michael Pool runs a Tampa-based hemp shop called Astrobleme. He’s not feeling this milligram cap in the bill at all. He says it won’t just ban certain products targeted by this law – it’ll hit up a ton of non-psychoactive stuff that people all over Florida are using right now.

“I have products in over 80 stores across the state,” Pool told Florida Phoenix. “Most of those stores are doing $2,000 a month, $3,000 a month, to $4,000 a month in sales of my products. And to just completely remove that would not be to my detriment but all those others.”

But yo, Gregory ain’t sweating it. He doesn’t think HB 1613 is going to mess up the legal hemp scene at all. When questioned by fellow Republican Thad Altman about how this law would affect Florida’s wallet, Gregory kept his cool.

“I don’t concede that actually it’s going to have a negative fiscal impact on businesses or revenue derived from taxes based on those businesses,” he said. But he did see less state spending when it comes to “providing care for people that overdose when they’re self-medicating using these products that need further regulation.”

Later on, Democratic Representative Dianne Hart asked Gregory if he thought this might flatline a major industry in Florida. Gregory didn’t think so at all.

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“I don’t have that concern at all,” he shot back. “I don’t think that it’s going to have that impact.”

Glen Sheppard runs Tallulah with his wife – they’ve got smoke shops all over Florida. He called out Gregory for saying this wouldn’t hurt Florida’s wallet.

“To say that there won’t be any economic impact to the state of Florida, I can tell you that’s totally false,” Sheppard said. “It’s strange that somebody can come stand up here and claim one thing that’s totally obviously not true at all.”

Now HB 1613 is headed to the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee next. If it passes there, then it’ll go up for a vote by the whole House of Representatives. Over on the Senate side, Republican Senator Colleen Burton has her own bill ready to roll – SB 1698 should be getting its shot on the Senate floor real soon.

So yeah man, things are heating up in Florida’s hemp scene – we’ll see where things go from here! Peace out.

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