TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Hemp farming in Florida has moved one step closer to reality when a bill authorizing it cleared a House committee and is moving forward in the Senate as well.
The bill backed unanimously Tuesday by a House Appropriations panel would create a state program to administer and oversee the growing of hemp for industrial uses, a potentially multi-billion-dollar business. The relative of the marijuana plant has been used for thousands of years to make everything from ropes to building materials to animal feed.
Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but contains only traces of the THC chemical compound that causes a high for marijuana users. The Florida farming plan must be approved by the U.S. Agriculture Department and growing hemp for personal use would be prohibited.