Florida authorized hemp research in 2017. In 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to move ahead with commercial hemp production. This was a big step in the right direction for a generally conservative state.
The hemp-derived CBD market is booming, predicted to increase by 700 percent to a $23.7 billion market by 2023, according to the Brightfield Group. So, it is not all that surprising that the government is allowing a hemp industry to develop while remaining pretty restrictive concerning recreational cannabis initiatives within the state.
As quoted in the Sun Sentinal, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said that she predicted a “tremendous marketplace for Florida — $20 billion to $30 billion,” bringing new life to Florida farming.
Considering the profit potential for the state of Florida when evaluating the overall value of hemp as an agricultural commodity, it becomes clear that like other conservative states across the country, hemp has been selected as an economic driver to help revive farming.
In addition to the clear financial and taxation possibilities, Fried, and many others in the states, feel that hemp is needed in Florida to help farmers harmed by hurricanes and diseases that have affected the state’s largest commodity: citrus.
For farmers and government alike, Fried states that she has not “seen this type of excitement in agriculture in decades.”
Watching new infrastructures develop is one of the most exciting features to the explosion of growth following the Farm Bill.
One of these developments is the announcement by American Hemp Processing (AHP) that the design of their mobile hemp extraction unit is completed. “This is a key step in our production expansion plans that will be completed 1stquarter 2020. At that time, we will be increasing our capacity to over 400,000lbs per month. And the exciting part is we will be able to do this remotely on the farms.” According to Shick Park, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer.
These units bring significant benefits to the farmer, including cost efficiencies, reducing transportation risks, contamination, and degradation. They also increase transparency between AHP and the farmer, something that is critical to the success of their partnerships.
“This caps off a 12 month design process by our engineers and now we go to the assembly phase. These units will take approximately 40 days each to build, and we plan to initially build 3.” Says Co-Founder and CEO Tom Richardson. “This has been a very rewarding journey for us, from meeting farmers all over the country, to government legislators, to fine tuning the extraction process, to meeting other processors and sharing ideas, we feel very confident about the Cannabinoid Sector business.
Florida operators are gearing up to play a large part in the next big agricultural commodity. 2020 will indeed bring a rush of activity for the hemp industry in the sunshine state. Hemp derived CBD extract and products will be a major trend to keep an eye on out of that state for the coming years.