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More Hemp, More Licenses, Recreational Pot? The Future Of Weed In Florida Is Hazy

A legislative committee approved an additional $13.3 million in funding for the state's Office of Medical Marijuana Use Thursday, despite concerns over delays in implementing a bill that legalized cannabis for medical use last year.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

When Nikki Fried was elected commissioner of agriculture, proponents of marijuana cheered because she was their advocate. But what does her newly elected office mean for the future of the cannabis industry in Florida?The agriculture commissioner historically doesn’t really have much influence. The responsibilities of the commissioner, Fried, and those who work in the department include the regulation of pesticides, edible medical marijuana and, more notably, hemp production.

The Department of Agriculture regulates pesticide use for growers. The Department of Health, which is charged with writing rules for edible forms of medical marijuana, hasn’t done that yet so Agriculture’s role is equally undefined. There is a requirement for a food safety inspection from the Department of Agriculture for each medical marijuana treatment center that produces edibles. Regulating hemp farming, however, falls more directly under the department’s purview than medical marijuana.

Read more from our news partner, The Miami Herald.

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Samantha J. Gross