As Adam Putnam steps out as the sunshine state’s Florida Agriculture commissioner, Nikki Fried, the sole Democrat winning her cabinet race in the 2018 midterm elections, is highlighting an important aspect of the farm bill that President Trump recently signed into law. In the bill, hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity and it is no longer considered a federally controlled substance.
This, Fried says, is something that she is “elated” to hear.
Commenting on the matter, Fried explained that “Lifting the needless ban on hemp presents an incredible opportunity for our farmers and Florida as a whole. I look forward to ensuring we take the necessary steps so Florida is ready to become a national leader on hemp.”
Hemp is a form of the cannabis plant with only a small trace of THC, which is the component in marijuana that produces the feeling of getting “high”. However, hemp requires less fertilizer and water to grow.
In addition, in her bid to eventually become Florida Agriculture Commissioner-elect, Fried ran on a campaign emphasizing weed, considering that she is a former marijuana lobbyist and also an attorney.
With the hemp provision in the new farm bill, hemp production will expand, and Fried is already assuring that expanding industrial hemp is something she will focus on when assuming office because it will help Florida jobs and revenue.
She details, “This is an alternative crop which will give Florida’s agriculture community the tools they need to be competitive and successful. It has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar industry for our state, which could drive job growth with an open market and account for a strong new source of revenue.”
Earlier this year, Mitch McConnell echoed Fried in detailing that “Consumers across America buy hundreds of millions in retail products every year that contain hemp. But due to outdated federal regulations that do not sufficiently distinguish this industrial crop from its illicit cousin, American farmers have been mostly unable to meet that demand themselves. It’s left consumers with little choice but to buy imported hemp products from foreign-produced hemp.”