2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXXV AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Chapter 581 PLANT INDUSTRY
SECTION 217State hemp program.
581.217 State hemp program.—
(1) CREATION AND PURPOSE.—The state hemp program is created within the department to regulate the cultivation of hemp in the state. This section constitutes the state plan for the regulation of the cultivation of hemp for purposes of 7 U.S.C. s. 1639p.
(2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
(a) Hemp is an agricultural commodity.
(b) Hemp-derived cannabinoids, including, but not limited to, cannabidiol, are not controlled substances or adulterants if they are in compliance with this section.
(3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Attractive to children” means manufactured in the shape of humans, cartoons, or animals; manufactured in a form that bears any reasonable resemblance to an existing candy product that is familiar to the public as a widely distributed, branded food product such that a product could be mistaken for the branded product, especially by children; or containing any color additives.
(b) “Certifying agency” has the same meaning as in s. 578.011(8).
(c) “Contaminants unsafe for human consumption” includes, but is not limited to, any microbe, fungus, yeast, mildew, herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, residual solvent, metal, or other contaminant found in any amount that exceeds any of the accepted limitations as determined by rules adopted by the Department of Health in accordance with s. 381.986, or other limitation pursuant to the laws of this state, whichever amount is less.
(d) “Cultivate” means planting, watering, growing, or harvesting hemp.
(e) “Hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof, and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers thereof, whether growing or not, that has a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis, with the exception of hemp extract, which may not exceed 0.3 percent total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a wet-weight basis.
(f) “Hemp extract” means a substance or compound intended for ingestion, containing more than trace amounts of a cannabinoid, or for inhalation which is derived from or contains hemp and which does not contain controlled substances. The term does not include synthetic cannabidiol or seeds or seed-derived ingredients that are generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(g) “Independent testing laboratory” means a laboratory that:
1. Does not have a direct or indirect interest in the entity whose product is being tested;
2. Does not have a direct or indirect interest in a facility that cultivates, processes, distributes, dispenses, or sells hemp or hemp extract in the state or in another jurisdiction or cultivates, processes, distributes, dispenses, or sells marijuana, as defined in s. 381.986; and
3. Is accredited by a third-party accrediting body as a competent testing laboratory pursuant to ISO/IEC 17025 of the International Organization for Standardization.
(4) FEDERAL APPROVAL.—The department shall seek approval of the state plan for the regulation of the cultivation of hemp with the United States Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with 7 U.S.C. s. 1639p within 30 days after adopting rules. If the state plan is not approved by the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with and with final approval from the Administration Commission, shall develop a recommendation to amend the state plan and submit the recommendation to the Legislature.
(a) It is unlawful for a person to cultivate hemp in this state without a license issued by the department.
(b) A person seeking to cultivate hemp must apply to the department for a license on a form prescribed by the department and must submit a full set of fingerprints to the department along with the application.
1. The department shall forward the fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing.
2. Fingerprints submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement pursuant to this paragraph must be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement as provided in s. 943.05(2)(g) and (h) and must be retained as provided in s. 943.05(4) when the Department of Law Enforcement begins participation in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national retained fingerprint arrest notification program.
3. Any arrest record identified shall be reported to the department.
(c) The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures for the issuance and annual renewal of a hemp license.
(d) A person seeking to cultivate hemp must provide to the department the legal land description and global positioning coordinates of the area where hemp will be cultivated.
(e) The department shall deny the issuance of a hemp license to an applicant, or refuse to renew the hemp license of a licensee, if the department finds that the applicant or licensee:
1. Has falsified any information contained in an application for a hemp license or hemp license renewal; or
2. Has been convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance under state or federal law. A hemp license may not be issued for 10 years following the date of the conviction.
(6) HEMP SEED.—A licensee may only use hemp seeds and cultivars certified by a certifying agency or a university conducting an industrial hemp pilot project pursuant to s. 1004.4473.
(7) DISTRIBUTION AND RETAIL SALE OF HEMP EXTRACT.—
(a) Hemp extract may only be distributed and sold in the state if the product:
1. Has a certificate of analysis prepared by an independent testing laboratory that states:
a. The hemp extract is the product of a batch tested by the independent testing laboratory;
b. The batch contained a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that did not exceed 0.3 percent pursuant to the testing of a random sample of the batch;
c. The batch does not contain contaminants unsafe for human consumption; and
d. The batch was processed in a facility that holds a current and valid permit issued by a human health or food safety regulatory entity with authority over the facility, and that facility meets the human health or food safety sanitization requirements of the regulatory entity. Such compliance must be documented by a report from the regulatory entity confirming that the facility meets such requirements.
2. Is distributed or sold in a container that includes:
a. A scannable barcode or quick response code linked to the certificate of analysis of the hemp extract batch by an independent testing laboratory;
b. The batch number;
c. The Internet address of a website where batch information may be obtained;
d. The expiration date; and
e. The number of milligrams of each marketed cannabinoid per serving.
3. Is distributed or sold in a container that:
a. Is suitable to contain products for human consumption;
b. Is composed of materials designed to minimize exposure to light;
c. Mitigates exposure to high temperatures;
d. Is not attractive to children; and
e. Is compliant with the United States Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1471 et seq., without regard to provided exemptions.
(b) Hemp extract may only be sold to a business in this state if that business is properly permitted as required by this section.
(c) Hemp extract distributed or sold in this state is subject to the applicable requirements of chapter 500, chapter 502, or chapter 580.
(d) Products that are intended for human ingestion or inhalation and that contain hemp extract, including, but not limited to, snuff, chewing gum, and other smokeless products, may not be sold in this state to a person who is under 21 years of age. A person who violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A person who commits a second or subsequent violation of this paragraph within 1 year after the initial violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) LAND REGISTRY.—The department shall maintain a registry of land on which hemp is cultivated or has been cultivated within the past 3 calendar years, including the global positioning coordinates and legal land description for each location.
(9) DEPARTMENT REPORTING.—The department shall submit monthly to the United States Secretary of Agriculture a report of the locations in the state where hemp is cultivated or has been cultivated within the past 3 calendar years. The report must include the contact information for each licensee.
(a) A licensee must complete a corrective action plan if the department determines that the licensee has negligently violated this section or department rules, including negligently:
1. Failing to provide the legal land description and global positioning coordinates pursuant to subsection (5);
2. Failing to obtain a proper license or other required authorization from the department; or
3. Producing Cannabis sativa L. that has a total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that exceeds 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis.
(b) The corrective action plan must include:
1. A reasonable date by which the licensee must correct the negligent violation; and
2. A requirement that the licensee periodically report to the department on compliance with this section and department rules for a period of at least 2 calendar years after the date of the violation.
(c) A licensee who negligently violates the corrective action plan under this subsection three times within 5 years is ineligible to cultivate hemp for 5 years following the date of the third violation.
(d) If the department determines that a licensee has violated this section or department rules with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, the department shall immediately report the licensee to the Attorney General and the United States Attorney General.
(a) The department shall enforce this section.
(b) Every state attorney, sheriff, police officer, and other appropriate county or municipal officer shall enforce, or assist any agent of the department in enforcing, this section and rules adopted by the department.
(c) The department, or its agent, is authorized to enter any public or private premises during regular business hours in the performance of its duties relating to hemp cultivation.
(d) The department shall conduct random inspections, at least annually, of each licensee to ensure that only certified hemp seeds are being used and that hemp is being cultivated in compliance with this section.
(12) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to administer the state hemp program. The rules must provide for:
(a) A procedure that uses post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods for testing the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of cultivated hemp.
(b) A procedure for the effective disposal of plants, whether growing or not, that are cultivated in violation of this section or department rules, and products derived from those plants.
(c) Packaging and labeling requirements that ensure that hemp extract intended for human ingestion or inhalation is not attractive to children.
(d) Advertising regulations that ensure that hemp extract intended for human ingestion or inhalation is not marketed or advertised in a manner that specifically targets or is attractive to children.
(13) APPLICABILITY.—Notwithstanding any other law:
(a) This section does not authorize a licensee to violate any federal or state law or regulation.
(b) This section does not apply to a pilot project developed in accordance with 7 U.S.C. 5940 and s. 1004.4473.
(c) A licensee who negligently violates this section or department rules is not subject to any criminal or civil enforcement action by the state or a local government other than the enforcement of violations of this section as authorized under subsection (10).
History.—s. 1, ch. 2019-132; s. 5, ch. 2020-135; s. 26, ch. 2023-154; s. 2, ch. 2023-299.