What Has Happened The Past 2 Years in Florida with CBD Rules?

CBD products in Florida governed by new rules - updated


A customer receives a massage with a CBD salve at a salon in Fort Lauderdale. CBD massages are the latest options on the menu at spas, salons, chiropractors and therapy centers. But consumers should do their research on the CBD products, experience of the massage therapist, and the cost of services that include CBD oil or cream. (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
4/25/2002 Update from HHOUTLET: The past 2 years have been flat on the issue of regulations for CBD and Delta 8 in Florida. Not much gain, not much loss, but that depends on who you ask? Consumers are reaping the benefits of Adult Choice Delta products from Industrial Derived Hemp. Delta 8 THC products contain an extraction from the Hemp Plant - Delta 8 THC. Since this is from the Hemp Plant that is already under .3% Delta 9 THC, the entire Hemp plant and its cannabinoids are legal. This has given Florida residents at least a  year of over the counter retail sales and purchase of Delta 8 THC products. What are these products used for? Mostly you would think that since the Delta 8 THC products DO HAVE A MILD HIGH FEELING that mostly recreational users would flood the market. If you really think about what "recreation" means, then you probably also know someone that uses their adult choice to buy alcohol at the store and use it recreationally - even post photos on FB showing how everyone was HAPPY at the HAPPY HOUR. So yes, there is a recreation market for Delta 8 and so be it - some of these folks do NOT WANT TO DRINK ALCOHOL, so Delta 8 is a nice Non-Alcoholic Alternative to liquor or beer or wine. At HHOUTLET in St. Pete, we see dozens of Seniors each month using a low dose of Delta 8 products. Pain Management, Hip Pain, Knee Pain, and then the middle aged crowd using Delta 8 as an after work relaxing tool. But the laws have not changed either way much in the past 2 years. This is probably a good thing because the future of adult choice and your ability to obtain Cannabis products is still highly regulated. Now this is good for the fact that just like alcohol - we don't want under age folks buying cannabis products, but for business owners, financial lenders, and banking accounts the Cannabis business is still treated worse than Adult Video Stores and Pawn Shops. With the resistence still high, it would not be too bad to stay where we are in Florida and have the ability to buy and/or sell Delta 8 products that are from CBD that is Derived from  Industrial  Hemp, and has been extracted and COA Lab Tested to be free form harmful or dangerous by-products. 

TALLAHASSEE — As sales boom in retail establishments throughout Florida, state regulators are now keeping tabs on CBD products that marketers claim can ease arthritis, anxiety and sleeplessness.

The items — including gummy bears, chocolates and dog treats — are part of a national mania for CBD, a non-euphoric compound derived from cannabis plants.

And they’ve been sold for years without any governmental oversight in Florida, until last week.

That’s when Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s office took charge of CBD-based products consumed by people and pets, as new rules went into effect on Jan. 1.

Fried, a Democrat, made all things cannabis a cornerstone of her successful 2018 campaign for the state Cabinet seat.

That same year, Congress passed a law that took hemp — defined as cannabis that has less than 0.3 percent of euphoria-inducing THC — off the list of controlled substances and gave states the authority to regulate hemp and related products.

Florida lawmakers during the 2019 legislative session put Fried’s office in charge of establishing the regulatory structure for hemp, along with products containing CBD being sold at gas stations, grocery stores and flea markets.

The landscape shifted in Florida’s CBD world the day the new rules went into effect.

Until recently, as demand for CBD products skyrocketed, Florida’s attorney general, agriculture commissioner and health officials — as well as most law enforcement entities — insisted the non-euphoric cannabis products existed in a legal “gray area” that none of the regulators had the authority to police.

That’s no longer the case.

“Prior to these rules being adopted and taking effect, we didn’t have regulatory authority. Now we do, and we have that up and going so that we can make sure consumers are protected,” Fried’s cannabis director, Holly Bell, told The News Service of Florida on Monday.

Fried’s inspectors have fanned out across the state to make sure retailers are complying with the new rules, which address issues such as pesticides, how packages are labeled and the inspection of products sold or produced in the state. The hemp rules include “ingestion,” or “the process of taking food into the body through the gastrointestinal tract through eating or drinking.”

Fried “has grave concern” for Florida consumers, and “wants to be able to protect them,” Bell said.

That’s why she pushed the Legislature to allow her to take advantage of the federal law permitting regulation of the industry.

“[Inspectors] are going out, looking at what’s on the shelf and if you are not compliant with those labeling laws, you will be given a certain amount of time to become compliant,” Bell said.

Retailers, who now have to pay Fried’s department $650 to sell products with CBD, will have between 30 and 45 days to comply with the law, Bell said.

Some retailers are embracing the new regulations.

Ashley Guy, the owner of Tallahassee-based Tallulah CBD + Juice Bar, told the News Service that eight regulators recently visited her store to conduct a training.

While the inspectors were there, a customer who had purchased an item from another store came in, Guy said.

The item, which had no expiration date and was more expensive than a similar item that Guy had on her shelves, “was really sketchy,” she said.

Guy said she welcomes the new rules because they could help ensure consumers’ safety by ridding the market of unregulated retail products.

“I hope they do yank them too because there are a lot of really bad products out there,” she said. “You don’t know where the CBD’s coming from. It could be China. It could be junk. … We don’t even know. If you’re putting something in your body, it should be a good product.”

But some retailers aren’t as prepared.

Some vendors with a smaller inventory “may find it challenging” to discard items that aren’t in compliance with new packaging requirements, according to lobbyist Jeff Sharkey, who represents the Florida Hemp Industries Association.

“The question’s going to be whether or not there’s going to be any enforcement or inspection of that inventory,” Sharkey said in an interview.

The new regulations will require “a tremendous amount of education” for retailers, producers and consumers, he added.

“This is a whole major industry that’s now coming online in Florida. It’s a big state. And CBD is very popular. So yeah, it will take a major effort from not only from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but a lot of people in this industry,” Sharkey said.

Dara Kam writes for the News Service of Florida.