DeSantis Swats Down Hemp Regulations: Governor Vetoes Proposed Restrictions!

Governor Ron DeSantis has made a decisive move, vetoing a bill that aimed to impose additional restrictions on Florida’s burgeoning hemp industry. The vetoed bill, SB 1698, had proposed limitations on the sale of hemp-derived products containing alternative forms of THC, which are often marketed for their perceived marijuana-like effects.

In a transmittal letter explaining his decision, DeSantis expressed concern that the proposed legislation would excessively burden small businesses within the hemp sector. He emphasized that while the bill’s objectives were commendable, the regulatory constraints it imposed would likely stifle the growth of small enterprises.

“The bill would, in fact, impose debilitating regulatory burdens on small businesses and almost certainly fail to achieve its purposes,” DeSantis wrote. He further suggested that a more balanced approach, with input from all relevant stakeholders, should be pursued during the next legislative session.

DeSantis Swats Down Hemp Regulations

This veto represents a significant victory for Florida’s hemp industry, which has experienced rapid expansion since Congress granted states the authority to regulate hemp in 2018. With limited federal oversight, hemp retailers began offering products infused with compounds like Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC, which claim to produce euphoric effects akin to marijuana.

State Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, who advocated for hemp restrictions last year, applauded DeSantis’ decision. Simpson noted existing regulations aimed at protecting public health and safety and affirmed the department’s commitment to rigorously enforcing these laws.

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The vetoed bill had faced staunch opposition from various quarters, including the Florida Healthy Alternatives Association, a trade association representing the hemp industry. In a statement, the association asserted that the proposed legislation would have dealt a severe blow to the state’s hemp industry and emphasized the critical role hemp and CBD products play in supporting public health.

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