Florida’s Grand Attempt To Kill Off It’s Hemp Industry

On March 3, 2023, Florida held its General Assembly, where two bills were filed. House Bill 1475 (HB 1475) and Senate Bill 1676 (SB 1676) address hemp extract and regulations. The identical bills both have positive and negative implications for the hemp industry in Florida. While the regulation of hemp derived products is necessary, many believe that the bill in question would severely limit the industry, leading to its ultimate downfall. In this article, we review the bill and how it will affect the industry and consumers. If you want to learn more about HB 1475/SB 1676, keep reading and learn how this can affect you. 

Alternative Cannabinoids

As more and more cannabinoids are found, the research and interest in them has skyrocketed. Cannabinoids are defined as “Every chemical substance, regardless of structure or origin, that joins the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain and that have similar effects to those produced by the Cannabis Sativa plant... The two most commonly used cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychoactive “THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”).” (highthere.com).  Besides THC and CBD, over 140 cannabinoids have been identified and isolated from the plant. To learn more about cannabinoids go through our blogs or visit The ADF Organization

Related Article: "Is Delta 8 Legal In Your State? Ultimate Guide"

More about Delta 8

Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 produces similar psychoactive effects to Delta-9, but they aren’t as potent. Despite being complicated to extract, Delta-8 is one of the most popular legal cannabinoids on the market.

“Delta-8 is reported as being a mood-enhancing cannabinoid, with a deeper, “stonier” high than other, similar cannabinoids, and is often mixed with regular THC or CBD oil for use in vape pens or before being infused with gummies.” (Source: highthere.com)

To learn more on Delta-8, read through our blog.

Safety Concerns

The products must be manufactured in a facility that has current and valid permits issued by a third party regulatory entity. These regulations are proposed to minimize any health risks. These regulations are always backed by the industry. Making sure the products are of high quality and safe for consumption is a top priority. Some of the concerns surrounding cannabinoids like delta-8 are: 

  • Appropriate Dosage
  • Getting into the hands of minors
  • Child safe packaging

Florida 1475 Bill

A great example of proper regulation is the Kentucky House Bill 544. Read our blog to learn more about HB 544. However, unlike the Kentucky House Bill 544, Florida HB 1475 has major negative implications for the industry. Cannabinoids such as delta 8 and HHC would qualify as THC. Products have always needed to have under .03% of THC. That was always true for delta-9 products, but the bill will now include delta-8, HHC, and alternative cannabinoids. In short this means that the total THC in edibles would have to be under 2 mg per package. This section of the bill will directly impact the alt noid using companies.

How This Could Affect You

Earlier I spoke on how some of these regulations are placed to minimize any health risks. However, the bill will affect small businesses in the industry. Many of the 7,000 FL-based Hemp companies do not have the capital to withstand a myriad of new hoops to jump through should all of the new regulations be enforced at once. 

The bill will stop these small businesses from producing products. If these companies cannot produce then where will the consumer get these products? You see, the industry is all for regulation because it helps keep the public from getting unregulated products on the streets. With the new bills in place, it will only increase the amount of unregulated products going around. 

Industry specialists estimate that this would end up having an economic impact of up to 16 billion dollars in Florida alone. Affecting the industry as a whole also means thousands of people will be affected. It is estimated that over 189,000 people could lose their jobs. This will cause financial hardships for thousands of families across Florida. In addition to layoffs and major losses of businesses, we have to think about everyone affected.


  • 189,000 jobs in Florida would be lost
  • $14 billion in lost sales
  • $300 million a year in tax revenue

What You Can Do To Help


 As you can see Florida House Bill 1475 has both positive and negative implications to the industry. The negatives definitely outweigh the positives. The negative implications for the industry, more specifically–the small businesses and consumers–in turn affect tax revenue and sales. Instead of taking steps in the right direction, the bill would be taking couple steps back. The Kentucky House Bill has a great infrastructure that the Florida House Bill should follow. 

If you’re concerned about the proposed bills in Florida and other states that threaten the legal status of hemp-derived products, there are steps you can take to help keep them from becoming law. One organization that is actively fighting against these bills is the Florida Healthy Alternatives Association (FHA).You can donate or become a member and help fight this bill. You can also contact your local representatives and voice your concerns. 

Florida House Bill 1475 Updates 

On March 20th, 2023, the Senate Committee Meeting was held. Florida House Bill 1475 was passed in a 5-2 vote. Senators, industry professionals, and some media members gathered for the vote hearing. This meeting also gave the opportunity for both those who are for and against the bill to voice their concerns. Our very own CEO, J.J. Coombs stood in front of senators voicing his concerns and stance on the bill. “I do agree that there are issues that we need to work together to solve. Child proof packaging, marketing to kids, proper dosing, direction of use, these are all things that we need to work together [on]. Not destroy the industry because this what this bill will do. My business also employs 120 people in Florida and I just hope that you guys vote no. Thank you.” 

Florida HB 1475 is not set in stone just yet. Although the bill was passed, there will be another version of the bill presented in the coming weeks. Those against the bill hope that this new version will contain amendments pushing HB 1475 in the right direction. As we wait to find out what these amendments will be, industry leaders remain hopeful. The goal at the end of the day is making sure proper regulations are in place. 

Come back to this page for more updates on Florida House Bill 1475. In the meantime, watch the full Senate Committee Meeting here.


Yesterday, a press conference was held where Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Senator Burton, and Representative Robinson spoke on the proposed bill. Below are some points that were brought up during the release that we’d like to add the actual industry’s input on.

  • According to Commissioner Simpson “Operators are currently using a loophole in state law to sell euphoric, recreational, high potency products to adults and children.” 

Just to clarify, it’s common practice for industry leaders and storefronts not sell Delta 8 products to individuals under the age of 21 years old. For instance, back in 2021, Johansen, the store owner of VaporFi in Miramar that sells many Delta 8 THC products, said in an interview that his store already enforces a strict 21+ age restriction for the hemp products. This policy is also observed by many other stores that sell delta 8 products.

  • Simpson also said “There’s no labeling on these products.”

Reputable brands are committed to providing clear and accurate labeling on their products. Labels on products like these include cannabinoid quantities, dosage instructions, directions of use, as well as warnings advising against misuse of the products.

The image above shows a board propped beside the representatives, displaying several concerning examples of brands in the industry. It's clear from their packaging that these "brands" are trying to appeal to children, which goes against our values at Mellow Fellow and the wider hemp industry. In addition, they're also violating the trademarks of popular candy brands, which is another practice that the industry strongly opposes. These low-quality brands intentionally sell Delta 8 products disguised as popular candy brands like Trolli and Sour Patch Kids, which is deceptive and misleading to consumers."

While it's commendable that Florida lawmakers are taking steps to regulate the hemp industry and weed out the few bad actors who prioritize profits over people, the measures proposed in the original bill would be overly burdensome for the many responsible brands in the industry who are committed to quality and safety.

  • Near the end of the conference, Representative Robinson said that he has “personally met with many of the stakeholders that- those that oppose and those that support this bill.” He continued by saying, “And it’s important to hear all of their input. And we’re going to create an even better bill than the one that has been drafted and filed” 

The hemp industry is hopeful that the rewritten bill will strike a reasonable balance, targeting those who engage in illegal or deceptive practices while not imposing undue burdens on the many reputable brands that operate with integrity. With continued efforts towards transparency, accountability, and consumer education, the hemp industry can continue to grow and provide safe and effective products to those who need them.

Stay tuned for updates as more developments are made.


SB has been revised and now only covers how hemp products can be marketed. Learn more here.

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