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Why Did DeSantis Veto Florida’s Hemp Bill?

Hemp Veto: Understanding Governor DeSantis’s Motives

Governor Ron DeSantis recently made headlines by vetoing Senate Bill 1698, a legislative move that would have imposed significant restrictions on the hemp industry in Florida, citing concerns over the potential negative impact on small businesses. While initially seen as a protective measure for the industry, further insights reveal that his decision was also influenced by broader political strategies, particularly concerning the marijuana legalization debate.

Political Underpinnings: The Marijuana Legalization Context

Governor DeSantis’s veto was not solely about protecting the hemp industry. Reports and his subsequent comments suggest that part of his rationale was to rally the hemp industry against a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. DeSantis indicated that the marijuana industry was in favor of SB 1698, hoping to curb hemp-derived product competition and advance their own legalization efforts.

In his statements, DeSantis acknowledged that while the problematic aspects of the bill were a primary reason for his veto, the influence of the marijuana industry’s support for the bill played a significant role. He expressed concerns about the potential widespread use and presence of marijuana, which he described as detrimental to the state’s quality of life. This seems hypocritical given that the proliferation of hemp products has been claimed to have the same effects on a state’s quality of life by other politicians.

The hemp industry has been longtime supporters of legalization, despite the stance of the multi-state operator-led US Cannabis Council, which is in open opposition to the hemp industry and promoting legislation that would have economically crippling effects. It is important that hemp industry partners continue to support legalization efforts and not fall prey to political maneuvering schemes. The marijuana and hemp sectors can peacefully coincide, as demonstrated by states like Minnesota, which have created reasonable regulations for both the sale of marijuana and consumable hemp products.

Another example would be the fact that my own company, Know Naturals, is launching our line of MOODSHINE Hemp Infused Beverages at Stargazer Cannabis Festival in Ohio next month. This is an event specifically to celebrate the legalization of cannabis in the Buckeye State. As a business owner in the hemp industry, I do not see cannabis legalization as a threat to my bottom line. I urge business owners and industry leaders in Florida to share this sentiment and not fall prey to Governor DeSantis’ political maneuvering. There is a world in which high quality consumable hemp products and legalized marijuana can happily coexist, and that’s the world we should be fighting for.

Canna Aid

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In a significant victory for the hemp industry, Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed Senate Bill 1698, which would have imposed stringent regulations on hemp-derived products.