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SEE WHY: Tallahassee business owners say they could shut down if this Florida bill passes

Bans on CBD
Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 18:32:18-05
  • A new proposed bill is making its way through the Florida Legislature that would ban the sale of some Hemp products.
  • If passed we're told it could shut down some downtown Tallahassee businesses.
  • Watch the video above to see why its so controversial.


A new proposed bill is making its way through the Florida Legislature that would ban the sale of some Hemp products.

If passed we're told it could shut down some downtown Tallahassee businesses.

Since opening its doors in downtown Tallahassee Florida Hemp Distribution said business has boomed.

"It's actually a, like a budding industry for sure, no pun intended," Dalton Rowan, the General Manager of Tallahassee's Florida Hemp Distribution said.

The shop sells a wide variety of products that contain the Hemp extracts CBD and Delta 9. Delta 9 is a legal cannabis.

Unlike CBD, delta 9 THC is psychoactive, which means it can make you feel high.

The reported health benefits of CBD cover a variety of conditions. It is most commonly used to treat chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia.

According to a report by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration CBD has been marketed as a treatment for a range of health conditions in recent years; however, there is a lack of evidence to support many of these claims.

Two companion bills SB 1698 and House Bill 1613 amend existing regulations on hemp products in Florida. Its most controversial provision would lower the concentrations of delta-9 in products.

"Essentially they redefine what total THC is. And with this new definition, it also it puts a ban on the major cannabinoids, which we sell, which is a lot of our products," Rowan said. "But the thing is, it won't just make the intoxicating products illegal with these milligram cap limits and the new bans on the cannabinoids, it will also make the CBD products illegal."

House Bill 1613 cleared one of its last committee hearings before going to a full house vote.

"Shouldn't we keep the ingestible inhalant products that are being sold to Florida consumers safe?" Rep. Tommy Gregory (R), HB 1613 Sponsor said. "And I know that you all agree the answer to that is yes."

The bill sponsor said the bill would help regulate the hemp industry and protect kids from having access to hemp extract products.

Provisions in the bill include:

  • Outlining stricter requirements for the manufacture, sale, and use of hemp extract.
  • Prohibits businesses from selling attractive hemp extract products to children.
  • Imposes restrictions on event organizers regarding hemp extract sales.

Rowan and others said the bill was overreaching and duplicative of a bill passed in the last session.
In 2023, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had a week-long statewide inspection sweep. It targeted the illegal sale of hemp extract products that are attractive or marketed to children, which became prohibited by Florida Law.

The sweep included inspections of more than 475 food establishments in 37 Florida counties and uncovered 68,689 packages of hemp extract products — including euphoric, high-potency THC products — targeting children.

"This bill as written will hurt Floridians who use these products for sleep assistance, pain management, and the like," one man said in opposition to HB 1613. "This bill destroys small businesses and hemp farmers around the state."

Dozens of business owners from Tallahassee opposed the bill at the house committee meeting.

"Representative Gregory opened with labeling this as a consumer protection bill," Rowan said. "And then afterward he stated that its focus is protecting children. It kind of confuses me a little bit because for one children can't buy these products."

House Bill 1613's companion bill SB 1698 has already passed a full senate vote.

Before the bill can reach the governor's desk and become lawn the senate and House bill's language must match.