Unlimited Florida Hemp Permits Are Now Available


Move over citrus industry, Florida’s hemp industry is rolling out this year. The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (“FDACS”) oversees Florida’s Hemp Program; and will be issuing permits to companies seeking to grow or process the popular new crop which is closely kin to cannabis. 

Hemp Food Permits

FDACS will issue food permits for the manufacturing, processing, packing, holding, preparing or selling of food consisting of or containing hemp extract at wholesale or retail. Manufacturers seeking to adulterate food with hemp will have to obtain either a retail hemp food establishment permit, or a wholesale hemp food establishment. A retail establishment prepares and/or sells pre-packaged food consisting of hemp extract (which includes CBD). Wholesale establishments manufacture, process and prepare food products containing hemp extract/CBD in order to sell those products to other businesses. 

To apply for a new hemp food establishment permit, businesses will have to meet minimum construction standards for their production facilities, complete a new permit application, pass an onsite inspection and pay permit fees. Construction standards ensure that the facility will have adequate water supply, sewage and waste water disposal and safe production areas. Permit fees are determined at the time of the inspection, and are contingent on the type of food establishment.

Hemp Cultivation Permits

FDACS has delayed the release of its hemp cultivation permits. The Agency anticipates that its cultivation rules will be adopted in the 1st quarter of 2020. FDACS is currently ensuring that its production rules are in line with the USDA’s final interim hemp production rules. 

East Coast Cannabis Counsel (“EC3”) assists companies with regulatory compliance and licensing in the cannabis and hemp industries. Please contact our office for a free consultation mkinner@eastcoastcannabiscounsel.com; jmcgowan@eastcoastcannabiscounsel.com.