Hemp vs. Marijuana

Identifying the key differences between hemp and marijuana, and their legality in the state of Florida can be a confusing endeavor. From THC levels, to laws and even obtaining your medical marijuana card, many factors are affected by the distinction of hemp and marijuana, two popular forms of cannabis.

Cannabis tends to fall into three general categories: medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and hemp. All three contain cannabidiol (CBD), one of the most well-known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, which is known for its various potential benefits. However, only medical and recreational marijuana contain substantial levels of tetrahydrocannabinol. Known as THC, tetrahydrocannabinol is the cannabinoid that gives marijuana its famous ‘high,’ and and boasts its own lineup of sought-after benefits. Hemp, on the other hand, can only contain less than 0.3% THC. The form of cannabis restricted by the least bureaucracy and legal confusion, hemp is used in a wide variety of products and is the source of most CBD sold today.

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, and here at Marijuana Doctor, we specialize in evaluating our patients for medical marijuana cards, which the state requires. Please note that recreational marijuana is currently illegal in Florida, reflecting our federal government’s longstanding marijuana prohibition. There is much reason for optimism though, as there is currently significant political momentum to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida, and this could even happen within the next year.

Finally, hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is not only legal in the state of Florida, but it’s also experiencing a boom of its own, and the state government is actively encouraging the growth of the entire hemp industry in Florida. From farming to production, industrial hemp has become a big business in Florida. There are numerous companies, based in South Florida, are prospering within this environment.

 

The hemp industry in Florida

Following the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp nationally and allowed states to make their own rules and regulations, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a draft of the legislation in June of this year, creating a state hemp program managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture, effectively launching the hemp industry in the state. In support of the state’s farmers, the department's regulators quickly wrote up the rules, enacted the permitting processes, and filled in the other details that paved the way for the hemp-friendly commercial environment we see today.

The industry is experiencing success, so far. The State Director of Cannabis (yes, in Florida, that is a thing!), Holly Bell, predicts that soon enough Florida-grown hemp will be a “several million dollar industry that will become hundreds of millions in the next two years.” The first permits will be issued just after the first of the year, says Bell. She predicts a whopping 3,000 farm operations will qualify.

The hemp industry in Florida

Following the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp nationally and allowed states to make their own rules and regulations, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a draft of the legislation in June of this year, creating a state hemp program managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture, effectively launching the hemp industry in the state. In support of the state’s farmers, the department's regulators quickly wrote up the rules, enacted the permitting processes, and filled in the other details that paved the way for the hemp-friendly commercial environment we see today.

The industry is experiencing success, so far. The State Director of CannabisState Director of Cannabis (yes, in Florida, that is a thing!), Holly Bell, predicts that soon enough Florida-grown hemp will be a “several million dollar industry that will become hundreds of millions in the next two years.” The first permits will be issued just after the first of the year, says Bell. She predicts a whopping 3,000 farm operations will qualify.