With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Florida has been given the opportunity to develop a state hemp/CBD program, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is currently working with legislators on a bill to implement the program. On passage of the bill into law, FDACS will have the authority to set rules and safeguards and develop hemp/CBD program plans for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has fought for increased access to cannabis for years. She’s proud to be a champion for cannabis and for CBD (cannabidiol) products that can improve quality of life for sick and suffering Floridians. However, CBD and cannabis derivatives, as defined by Section 893.02, Florida Statutes (F.S.), are currently not legal for sale in Florida. That’s why passage of state hemp/CBD program legislation is so important. Once that legislation becomes law, CBD products can be tested, regulated and legally sold with the consumer safety protections Floridians expect.

Section 893.02, F.S., defines cannabis products, which are not legal for sale outside of certified Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. The 2018 Farm Bill provides state agriculture departments with the opportunity to pass legislation and create state hemp programs. Once Florida’s state hemp legislation becomes law, consumers can legally purchase CBD products and businesses can legally grow, process, manufacture and sell those CBD products, in accordance with the new state law.

Are you sending cease-and-desist letters to CBD retailers?

No, cease-and-desist letters have not been sent by FDACS. Once our state hemp program takes effect, CBD products can be fully tested, regulated and approved as safe for consumption. If CBD producers fail to comply with those safety standards, at that time FDACS may issue cease-and-desist letters to protect consumers from unsafe products.

What do consumers need to know about CBD?

Right now, the CBD products being sold in Florida are unregulated, untested and without standards on what consumers are putting into their bodies. There have been reports of falsely advertised products containing harmful additives and little or no CBD. Neither consumers nor FDACS can ensure these products are completely safe for human or animal consumption. Once state hemp legislation becomes law, FDACS will begin testing CBD products for consumer safety. If consumers suspect any products are unsafe or not as advertised, they should file a consumer complaint at FloridaConsumerHelp.com or 1-800-HELP-FLA.

[source Florida Dept. of Ag and Consumer Services]

Updated on May 13, 2019

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