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Hemp Alert: Updates from Florida, Tennessee & Minnesota

Hemp Industry Highlights: Your Weekly Spotlight

Florida Hemp Alert: Your Voice Needed Now!

Florida’s hemp industry is at a pivotal juncture with the passage of Senate Bill 1698 by the legislature, setting the stage for potential sweeping changes. Despite the tight vote, reflecting the community’s strong advocacy, the bill’s current form threatens to significantly contract the hemp products market, impacting retailers and farmers alike.

The spotlight now turns to Governor Ron DeSantis, known for his support of small businesses, who has the power to veto this legislation. With the U.S. Hemp Roundtable spearheading a campaign to encourage a veto, your participation is crucial. This is our last stand to prevent the bill from becoming law.

Act now to protect the future of the hemp industry in Florida. Your voice can make a difference in this critical moment. Join the effort to urge Governor DeSantis to side with small businesses and veto Senate Bill 1698. The time to act is now—let’s unite to safeguard our industry’s prosperity.

Take Action with the Hemp Roundtable

Tennessee’s Tug-of-War: THC-A and the Future of Hemp Business

Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture is currently drafting regulations that have stirred unease among hemp business owners, especially regarding the treatment of THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) in hemp-derived products. Following the enactment of a law regulating the sale of such products to individuals over the age of 21, the state’s contemplation to impose restrictions on THC-A has raised alarms. THC-A currently constitutes a significant portion of the hemp market in Tennessee. This regulatory shift threatens to undercut local businesses by driving consumers to out-of-state or online markets, where Tennessee’s regulations do not apply, potentially sidelining a thriving industry built around these products.

The backlash from the business community was evident during a Department of Agriculture hearing, where the proposed THC-A restrictions were met with widespread criticism. Over 2,000 written comments have been submitted, many highlighting the dire consequences for local hemp retailers and the broader industry if these restrictions go into effect. With THC-A products making up a substantial share of the market, the proposed rules could dramatically impact the viability of many businesses, spurring concerns over a shift towards the black market or loss of sales to other states. As the department reviews feedback with a July 1 deadline for implementing new regulations, Tennessee’s hemp industry stakeholders are closely watching, hoping for a regulatory outcome that supports the growth and sustainability of their businesses.

Minnesota’s Hemp Market: Stricter Oversight on Horizon

 Minnesota’s shift towards legal adult-use cannabis has placed the hemp industry under heightened scrutiny. With the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) joining forces, a new enforcement era begins, focusing on the illicit sale of cannabis flower. This initiative emerges as the state aligns its cannabis and hemp markets with legal adulthood, setting a precedent for the regulation of hemp-derived products.

Amidst this transition, the sale of raw cannabis flower remains unauthorized, pending the distribution of OCM business licenses, prompting a clampdown on retailers exploiting regulatory gaps to market full-strength hemp products as compliant offerings.

Central to this enforcement is the OCM’s commitment to upholding THC limits, as mandated by both state and federal law. The forthcoming inspections aim to ensure that hemp products do not surpass the legal THC concentration, emphasizing post-decarboxylation levels where THCA could convert into psychoactive delta-9 THC. The regulations extend to edible cannabinoid products, mandating that they contain no more than five milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol per serving and a total of 50 milligrams per package. Violations could result in significant repercussions, including fines up to $1 million and potential impacts on future licensure. This regulatory rigor underscores the imperative for retailers to diligently verify their product’s compliance, as Minnesota steers towards a secure, legal cannabis framework, ensuring the hemp market’s integrity and consumer safety

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