Connect with us
Photo: Bill Kaczor

Headlines

Nikki Fried to name Nashville consultant as Director of Cannabis

Bell has been consulting for the cannabis/hemp industry since last August.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is expected to name Nashville consultant Holly Bell to be her Director of Cannabis at a Wednesday press conference.

Bell

Florida Politics and POLITICO Florida reported the pick Tuesday night, relying on unnamed sources and Bell’s own professional website, which as of Tuesday said she is “currently on permanent assignment as the Director of Cannabis for the state of Florida.”

Fried’s office had issued a media advisory of a “major announcement related to cannabis in Florida” at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in The Capitol. Bell said she was busy when reached by phone by Florida Politics earlier Tuesday. She did not respond to subsequent voicemails seeking comment.

Bell’s résumé (at bottom), on file with Fried’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shows that she has been consulting for “the cannabis/hemp, entertainment, and finance industries” since last August.

Her site also says she “created a turn-key package for banking the cannabis and hemp industries for financial institutions.”

Before that, she was a director of business development for Denver firm Safe Harbor Services, where she educated the “Board of Directors and employees on the real story of the cannabis industry,” and was a “practice management consultant” for ProEquities Broker Dealer in Birmingham, Alabama.

At The Associated Press’ pre-Legislative Session briefing in the Capitol last week, Fried — a former medical marijuana lobbyist — told reporters she wanted the new Director to start the rulemaking process for growing hemp in Florida. That follows the Farm Bill that was passed and signed by President Trump last year, which legalized regulated production of hemp.

The Department of Health, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, largely occupies the field of medical marijuana. But the Agriculture Department’s food experts are supposed to oversee “processing requirements” of marijuana for edible consumption.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

Poll: Donald Trump approval numbers have fallen further in Florida than any other state

Federal

National report recommends leveling portions of I-275 in Tampa

Tampa Bay

Crystal Wagar elected Mayor of Miami Shores

South Florida

Bar exam blues: Florida pass rate falls again

APolitical

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.