Senate Bill 1020, which authorizes the regulation of hemp, became law on July 1, 2019. The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) will oversee the hemp production program; and is responsible for issuing all cultivation permits. FDACS estimates that the permit applications may become available as early as October 2019. Application requirements include, but are not limited to the following:
• Description, including, address and GPS coordinates, of each location intended for hemp cultivation.
• Set of fingerprints for each owner, partner, corporate officer, member, or director.
• Environmental containment plan which includes a description of how you prevent hemp from spreading through ditches, natural waterways, or other drainage; how you will use dedicated equipment that is kept in a sanitary condition; how you safely transport hemp.
• A waste disposal plan outlining the procedures used to destroy hemp plants, which includes the estimated costs to destroy the hemp plants and the method of disposal to ensure that hemp plants are rendered non-viable.
• Proof of an Agricultural Bond, if required.
Florida’s hemp program is anticipated to be one of the more highly regulated hemp programs in the Country. This is evidenced by the permit application requirements, which require a high level of detail similar to medical and adult-use cannabis license applications. Individuals or entities interested in applying for a Florida hemp cultivation permit should consult with experienced industry professionals to ensure they submit a complete application and materials.