House poised to allow more THC in hemp extract than Senate-passed bill permits
Image by Niksy from Pixabay.

The Senate will have to take up this bill again once the House passes it. Will there be time?

The House is finally considering legislation that will change Florida’s hemp market as currently constructed, making many products illegal for in-state production or sale and thereby advantaging out of state producers and retail outlets.

But in a late bid to appease industry stakeholders, a change looks likely ahead before the final passage, even as other, more significant changes were rejected.

Sen. Colleen Burton’s bill (SB 1698), which Speaker Paul Renner decided to take up, proposes a ban on currently commercially available and federally legal products, along with a cap on delta-9 THC, which could negatively affect the 487 growers and roughly 10,000 retail outlets in the state.

Burton’s bill enjoys the support of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). It was substituted for Rep. Tommy Gregory’s measure (HB 1613), which was on the Second Reading Calendar.

But amendments greeted the bill on the Special Order calendar, including one from Gregory that increased the permissible amount of delta-9 THC in hemp extract to 5 mg a serving or 50 mg a container, up from 2 mg and 10 mg limits in the Senate bill. This change means that the bill would have to go back to the Senate if it passes the House.

The sponsor said he’d want no psychoactive compounds in hemp, which is a biological impossibility, but in the interest of compromise with colleagues and meeting the concerns of stakeholders, he filed this amelioration.

A second amendment from Rep. Jim Mooney targeted the use of “dress, trademarks, branding or other related materials, or any imagery or scenery that depicts or signifies characters or symbols known to appeal primarily to persons under 21 years of age, including, but not limited to, superheroes, comic book characters, video game characters, or mythical creatures.”

However, it protected the industry in other ways, which the sponsor did not appreciate.

Gregory noted that the Mooney amendment would have reinstated banned substances in the bill, that would include delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol, hexahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinol acetate, tetrahydrocannabiphorol and tetrahydrocannabivarin.

The sponsor wondered why his fellow Republican would allow these substances to be sold. Mooney noted they are federally legal.

Gregory contended the language would gut the bill, and that only people who are “so libertarian that you think you should have recreational drugs sold” would back it.

The amendment failed by voice vote.

The bill says the definition of “hemp” to “outline that hemp extract may not exceed 0.3% total delta-9-THC concentration on a wet-weight basis,” language matching the 2018 Farm Bill that created initial parameters for the then-fledgling industry without arbitrary packaging limits. It would also impact full-spectrum CBD products, which meet the federal requirements and include minor cannabinoids as well.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Regulate and tax it just like alcohol and cigarettes

    March 6, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    It’s only common sense to keep kids away from it, the same as alcohol and cigarettes. Also taxed. Common sense, no brainer.

    Also prosecute people who drive while intoxicated, regardless of substance. Also a no-brainer.

    • Natalie

      March 9, 2024 at 1:39 pm

      Start prosecuting the people who drive while smoking their Rx medication marijuana; too many of these people drive while smoking their Rx pot!

  • Tim Rivers

    March 7, 2024 at 8:26 am

    This bill was made to make federally legal THCA and CBD a felony. Protecting Trulieve and Curaleaf. They both had over nine lobbyists promising contributions to representatives if they voted up on the bill. So now a company who’s co-founder that was convicted of bribery and conrouption, JT Burnett of Trulieve and a Russian oligarch, Boris Johnson of Curaleaf will have a 100% state sanctioned monopoly. The only question is will Governor Ron Desantis stand up for small businesses and free markets or let Wilton Simpson become his new pupet master serving Wilton’s wishes by handing over a 16 billion dollar industry to a company that promotes gender reaffirming care for minors, Trulieve?

  • Florida is now a banana republic

    March 7, 2024 at 5:16 pm

    I think we’ve established this government is not interested in promoting business and fair competition, and they don’t know how to do anything but entrenched crooked cronyism at the expense of the economy and citizens. Things like this keep happening every year over year and very soon people will wake up to find a banana republic.

Comments are closed.


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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704