Legal CBD could be a big boost for Florida hemp farmers

click to enlarge Photo via Adobe Photos TALLAHASSEE — Hemp has been hyped as a lifesaver for Florida farmers, touted as a versatile crop that can be used to build houses, feed livestock and create clothing.

But it’s the plant’s healing qualities that have sparked a second cannabis “green rush,” as the state’s hemp program gets off the ground.

The nationwide craze for products containing CBD is evident at supermarkets, gas stations and big-box stores, where lotions, tinctures and bath “bombs” are among the items flying off the shelves as consumers seek to quell anxiety, aches and pains and a host of other ailments.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the cannabinoids found in the plant cannabis sativa. What differentiates hemp from its cannabis cohort marijuana is the amount of euphoria-inducing THC.

State and federal law defines “industrial hemp” as cannabis that has 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC; cannabis plants that have more than that amount of euphoria-inducing THC are marijuana.

While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, Congress last year decriminalized industrial hemp as an agricultural product, allowing states like Florida to begin regulating the plant that’s been around for 10,000 years.

Following up on the federal action, Florida lawmakers

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