Now we rarely do this – but we feel it is important to keep hemp accessible to as many people as possible. After all, this is why Eighty Six exists! In Florida, right now, there are two bills, that if passed, would outlaw the sale of all hemp products in the state. This means hemp-derived Delta-8 THC, HHC, Delta-9 THC, and the rest of the psychoactive minor cannabinoids would be illegal to purchase and consume. Read on to learn all about the incoming legislation and what you can do to help strike it down.
What is Going on in Florida?
Florida, a historically business-friendly state despite keeping bud illegal at the recreational level, seeks to effectively limit access to hemp-derived cannabinoid products under House Bill HB 1475 and Senate Bill SB1676 through redefining what these cannabinoid products are under the controlled substances list and a series of restrictive compliance measures for businesses to follow.
House Bill HB 1475 redefines hemp extracts particularly containing “synthetically-derived cannabinoids” such as Delta-8 THC, intended for human consumption to be food, instead of dietary supplements. The bill goes on to state such products intended for human ingestion or inhalation may not “exceed 0.5 milligrams total tetrahydrocannabinol per dose or 2 milligrams total tetrahydrocannabinol per container.
We’ll get into compliance of the bill should it pass later. Looking at the next bill, Senate Bill SB 1676 is an exact replica proposed by HB 1475 but introduced at the state senate level, adding an additional layer of protection should the bill be struck down at the house level.
Should one or both of these bills pass, small businesses would be required to obtain licenses and permits in order to continue to do business. While this might be a necessary measure to protect against quality of products to enter the market, the cost of doing so is insane and only favors large corporations such as big cannabis.
Let’s also mention that both bills add a max potency level of 0.5mg of TOTAL THC – so Delta-8 THC is now considered to be the same as Delta-9 THC. Say bye-bye to your favorite Eighty Six Delta-8 Disposables and vape cartridges.
Why is this Bad?
Whether you live in Florida or any other state in the country, small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Bills such as HB 1475 and SB 1676 are written with the intention of protecting people’s health and livelihoods but are to be enforced to protect large corporations with both the money and infrastructure to both afford and sustain such compliance.
Small business owners, whether its your local smoke shop or a manufacturer, operates on narrow profit margins. Restrictive regulations that make it incredibly difficult to both afford and comply favor large corporations that have the ability to change accessibility of these products through cost.
Politically speaking, Florida is a red state, meaning conservatives are in power. Conservatives are historically pro-small business that favors keeping Americans employed and protected.
Given Florida being such a large state and possesses a very large market share of the psychoactive hemp industry, the passage of these bills would lead to a trickle effect to the rest of the country. Give it some time and you can expect the hemp industry to essentially die.
On top of the impending destruction of the industry, the bills would cause significant job losses and damage to the economy in an area that has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. Think about it – whether you work in the hemp industry or not, if regulations pass that make it so difficult for your job to operate, it would close and there goes your job. If people are out of work, the economy slows and the cost of goods increases…on top of inflation. Not good.
So…what can be done about protecting not only your access to your favorite Delta-8 products? How can you get involved with keeping the industry alive and well?
Both HB 1475 and SB 1676 restrict the ability for an industry that employees thousands, if not, more. If passed, the trickle-down effect spells disaster for more than just Florida. The beauty of being an American is to influence the decisions that ultimately shape our lives. If you disagree with these bills, you CAN get your representative to change their position by making your voice heard.
STRIKE DOWN HB 1475
STRIKE DOWN SB 1676
SB 1676 was written by Florida State Representative Colleen Burton. The best way to help strike down the bill is to join your local retailers in calling and tweeting how the passage of the bill limits your access to these products.
EIGHTY SIX IS WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
Florida deserves a fair and equitable economy – one in which small businesses can thrive without burdensome regulations holding them back by BIG cannabis and over-regulation outside of the Federally legal guidelines already in place.
In addition to educating you about the ways in which you can get involved, Eighty Six helps to fund the fight. The Florida Hemp Association (FHAA) is working with lobbyists to help take the fight to the capitol. Eighty Six happily donated $25,000 to help. Real change happens when we make our voices heard. Join us and help protect the products you know and love.