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New Cannabis Director To Regulate Hemp, CBD

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
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Credit Florida Department of Agriculture
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The Florida Channel

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is tapping Nashville hemp consultant Holly Bell for the department’s cannabis director. Bell was instrumental in getting Tennessee’s hemp industry off the ground, and Fried hopes Bell can do the same in Florida.

“The economic impact for our state is enormous. [The] medical marijuana industry alone is projected to have a $1.6 billion economics, creating more jobs in manufacturing by 2020. Hemp can be a multi-billion-dollar industry here in the state,” said Fried.

As cannabis director, Bell oversees the department’s involvement in the medical marijuana industry, including regulating edibles, and will help implement changes. Fried wants Bell to start the rulemaking process for hemp. Fried also outlined plans to regulate CBD and produce hemp under the “Fresh from Florida” brand.

“We are going to be very proactive on making sure that 1, that were going to put testing standards in place almost immediately. Testing and labeling standards,” said Fried.

She says stores that are already selling the product don’t have to quit, but once the regulations are in place if they violate they will be shut down.

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Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.
Shawn Mulcahy is a junior at Florida State University pursuing a degree in public relations and political science. Before WFSU, he worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates and a contributing indie writer for the music blog EARMILK. After graduation, he plans to work in journalism or government communications. He enjoys coffee, reading and music.