What Retailers Should Know about the New Florida Hemp Program

In 2018, the federal Farm Bill effectively legalized the mass production of hemp, a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 percent THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. This bill allowed each state to create their own regulations.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 1020 on June 25, 2019 establishing the Florida Hemp Program monitored by the Department of Agriculture (DOA). For the Florida Retailer this means that the State Hemp program removes hemp-derived cannabinoids, including but not limited to cannabidiol, as a controlled substance or adulterant under Florida law. Further, the Legislature has found hemp to be an agricultural commodity; thus, processing hemp for an end use will not be unlawful. Senate Bill 1020 places quality parameters on the distribution and retail sale of hemp extract. Each product must have a certificate of analysis prepared by an independent testing laboratory and the label states:

  1. The hemp extract is the product of a batch tested by the independent testing laboratory.
  2. The batch contained a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that did not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis pursuant to the testing of a random sample of the batch; and the batch does not contain contaminants unsafe for human consumption.

(b) “Is distributed or sold in packaging that includes”: A scannable barcode or quick response code linked to the certificate of analysis of the hemp extract by an independent testing laboratory.

  1. The batch number.
  2. The Internet address of a website where batch information may be obtained.
  3. The expiration date. The number of milligrams of hemp extract; and a statement that the product contains a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis.

This means that retailers, not limited to Health Food retailers, should be prepared for inspection at anytime in concerns with Hemp extracts in their stores. Inspectors will be looking at the products on their shelves to make sure that they are in compliant with the new regulations under the Bill. Each retailer will be given 30 to 45 days to become compliant with regulations before penalties are issued. All retailers including Health Food retailers will be required to pay the Department of Agriculture $650 to sell products with CBD.

Most retailers are embracing the new regulations, while some who may not have a large inventory may see it challenging to discard items that are not in compliance with the new packaging requirements.

As always, as news breaks, we’ll update you on the newest information on laws and regulations surrounding the industry.