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Gov. DeSantis signs bill to create agricultural hemp program

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 19:57:10-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida will establish an agricultural hemp program under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Republican governor signed the bill Tuesday. It is hailed as a way to help farmers who have been battered by hurricanes and hurt by citrus diseases.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has said the state could soon be a leader in hemp production, given the state's climate. She says citrus will remain the state's top crop, but citrus farmers will now have an option of supplementing their groves with hemp.

Hemp is related to marijuana but only has trace amounts of THC, the chemical that makes people high. The plant has a wide range of uses, from ropes and clothing to building materials and animal feed.