In Florida, January 1 didn’t just mark a new year and decade, it symbolized a new era for CBD – one of regulations and oversight. The legal gray area in which CBD products lived is now in the past.
The credit goes to Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried whose successful 2018 campaign for the state Cabinet seat was largely driven by all things cannabis and the concerns surrounding them. Fried’s office is responsible for overseeing the regulatory structure for hemp and CBD products sold at grocery stores, gas stations, and flea markets.
“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,” Holly Bell, Fried’s cannabis director, recently told The News Service of Florida.
The changes have not only taken effect from a strictly legal standpoint but also from a practical one, as inspectors have wasted no time enforcing these new regulations.
“(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 continued.
That “certain amount of time” is between 30 and 45 days.
The new rules are set in place to protect consumers against products that contain pesticides, are improperly labeled and packaged, and/or don’t contain exactly what they say they do, including advertised CBD levels.
On a more pragmatic note, retailers have to pay $650 to the Department of Agriculture for an annual permit to sell CBD. Like the other rules, retailers have between 30 and 45 days to comply.
For those who were already dedicated to selling legitimate CBD products, these new regulations are a welcome change, as they’ll force the competition to play by the rules they have already been abiding by, leveling the playing field.
With that being said, smaller retailers might have a harder time adjusting in terms of discarding improperly packaged items from their already limited inventory, thus making it harder for them to stay afloat.
Hemp cultivation rules are expected to be finalized early this year.
Image Source: CBD Oil Land