State Sen. Jeff Clemens has again filed a bill allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp, the fiber of the cannabis plant that’s used to make fabrics, paper and rope.
The bill (SB 554) was submitted Monday.
Because hemp is related to marijuana, it’s banned in the states. But the level of THC – the chemical that causes a high – is virtually zero in hemp.
Last year, the bill died in the Appropriations Committee.
“I understand there are negative connotations, but people have to understand this is just another product that people can grow and make a profit on,” said Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat.
The bill would require hemp growers to register with the state Department of Agriculture and attest that the hemp they will grow comes from seeds with “no more than 0.3 percent” THC.
Growers also would have to submit to “inspection of the hemp during sowing, growing, harvest, storage, processing, manufacturing, and distribution operations,” the bill says.
Hemp has been estimated to be a potential $150 million to $200 million cash crop in Florida, proponents say.