A lot of people currently share different sentiments about the status of hemp. Since hemp was legalized, many people have been divided in their opinions. While there are those who are still not on board the hemp train, others are happy and looking forward to an amazing ride, especially if word from Nikki Fried, the Agriculture Commissioner is anything to go by.
According to Fried, there’s so much potential in the hemp industry which is expected to grow into a multibillion-dollar industry in the near future. But this is not a political statement, it’s a sign of intent. A glance at her political stand in the past reveals why this would be a bold statement. Fried had campaigned on a platform for allowing a lot more people access to medical marijuana. This was the message that resonated all through her campaign. To signify her strong belief in her message, she went on and created a new position upon taking up her role as the Director of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Director of Cannabis, which was assigned to Holly Bell.
Together for Hemp
The partnership between Bell and Fried is one that’s bound to excite farmers, given their combined experience. Bell has been in agriculture for years, having graduated from Purdue University and served in different capacities as a cannabis consultant in many states across the country. Therefore, she has a lot of knowledge on hemp, and the growth patterns across the countries, which should inspire confidence in farmers.
Bell is one of the brains behind the industrial hemp program that’s thriving in Tennessee, having played a key role in establishing the infrastructure. Bell and Fried are passionate about hemp, and promised farmers their commitment to hemp production. Together with scientists, they will work alongside farmers to ensure that the implementation of the Farm Bill of 2018 can be done smoothly, and in a way that the farmers would be able to realize significant benefits. The plan is to make the growth of hemp an all-inclusive affair, with all the stakeholders playing an important role in delivering a product that doesn’t have THC.
Backed by Research
According to recent studies, Florida has the potential to become the leading state in the US for medical marijuana. Therefore, Fried hopes to make this dream a reality and to make Florida take advantage of her unique position in the market and the industry at large. One of the strategies that would help achieve this goal is to encourage farmers to switch their production.
In her capacity, Bell has worked with farmers in Tennessee, helping them realize the benefit of moving from soybeans, tobacco, and cotton to hemp. The situation in Tennessee is more or less similar to what farmers are currently experiencing in Florida, and this is one of the reasons why Bell believes there’s so much more potential for hemp in Florida. Most farmers who have grown the common cash crops have in the past struggled with weak yields, and hemp could offer a very good alternative to farmers.