April 27 marked the first anniversary of Florida's hemp program, which has had a tremendous impact on the state, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Florida's state hemp program is leading the way in creating great jobs, safe and useful products, and a bright future for this new industry,” said Florida agricultural commissioner Nikki Fried in a press release. “It's a great crop for Florida's farmers with the potential for over 25,000 uses including textiles, biocomposite building materials, biodegradable packaging products, and food and medicinal products like CBD."
Just within the first year, the hemp program supported over 9,000 jobs, generated over $17 million in federal, state and local tax revenue, and created an estimated $370-million economic impact, Fried said.
This year, Fried said the state plans to increase the support of hemp producers, processors and retailers to meet consumer needs and the increasing demand.
Additionally, the state will also increase multicultural public education and outreach on the benefits of hemp and advance its research and testing to ensure all Florida hemp products meet the quality and safety standards that the law requires, Fried said.
And according to the press release, the state has already made an effort to advance its consumer and multicultural outreach and education by releasing a bilingual hemp education video in Spanish and English.
"I'm proud of our department's work on this new green economic driver, and I believe that Floridians will enjoy the benefits of this commodity for generations to come," Fried said. "The sky's the limit for Florida hemp, and we're very excited about year two."