Florida Does Not Allow for Remediation of Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill, more formally, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, officially de scheduled hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Since the passage of the Farm Bill, several pieces of implementing legislation have been passed, however, there is still much uncertainty on the legal front. One area that significantly varies from state to state is whether the state allows for the remediation of hemp that is non-compliant with the testing requirements. To make it more confusing, most states have varying laws and regulations in place that govern the testing requirements.

Hemp is defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis). It is difficult for farmers to ensure that the plants remain under .3% THC, especially in states with hotter climates. As a result, hemp can sometimes test above 0.3% THC, which is called to test “hot”.

To help farmers and prevent wasting product, many states allow for remediation of hemp to reprocess it and make it compliant. This process of removing certain levels of THC from hemp is called remediation. After the hemp is remediated it is then required to test in compliance with There are a few specific criteria that all states require that include: the hemp tests below .3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration, a cannabinoid profile test and a contaminant profile test.

However, Florida law requires destruction of hemp as opposed to remediation. The Florida rules allow for a one time re-testing of the hemp and after that if the hemp does not pass, then it must be destructed. Section 581.217, Fla. Stat.; Rule 5B-57.014(8), F.A.C. This creates yet another hurdle for those operating in the highly regulated space. Further, the procedure for destruction of waste created in the process of hemp production is also highly regulated. See the Hemp Waste Disposal Manual Codified under the applicable laws and regulations.

The laws and regulations that apply to the hemp industry are ever evolving and complex. If you are operating in the cannabis industry or would like to get involved it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney. Noncompliance with these laws can result in harsh penalties or even seizure of licensure or registration.