cbd

Gerard Albert III / WLRN

Leaders of the hemp industry in Florida came together in Pompano Beach Thursday, for the first stop on a statewide tour aimed at educating the community on new business developments.

New Hemp Industry Buoyed By CBD Demand

Jul 29, 2019

Hemp has been hyped as a lifesaver for Florida farmers, touted as a versatile crop that can be used to build houses, feed livestock and create clothing. 

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel

South Florida consumers used to be able to buy fresh tomatoes and bell peppers at Publix that were grown at Whitworth Farms in Boynton Beach. But last year, the third-generation farming family was forced to lease its land because it was no longer profitable to farm it.

Shea Castleberry works in a time capsule of sorts. He walks through the aisles of the Family Video store he manages in Murray, Ky., a small city surrounded by rolling farmland about two hours north of Nashville.

Next to the movies and popcorn, there's a new addition to his store that surprises some of his regulars.

"A lot of people are like 'a video store selling CBD?' But it really does tie into our values. Which is, we're here for the community," Castleberry said.

Jose Iglesias / Miami Herald

Kim Rivers' dad was a Jacksonville Sheriff's deputy while she was growing up. For a time, he was working with an undercover narcotics unit.

Today, Rivers leads the largest seller of legal marijuana in Florida, as the CEO of Trulieve.

The company was the first to have medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and now has the most. Revenues grew 400 percent last year to more than $100 million and sales are expected to more than double this year. It has bought dispensaries in California and Massachusetts, and announced the purchase of a Connecticut dispensary this month.

Danny Rivero

Business from cannabis is growing fast in Florida; some of it regulated tightly, and some of it without rules. But all of it comes with cash that the banking industry is reluctant to touch. 

 

The first legal industrial hemp seeds in decades are growing now in South Florida soil.

CBD is showing up in ice cream, gummy bears and cocktails, but the state says the products are illegal.

And millions of dollars are being generated by the medical marijuana industry in Florida, but few banks want the money.

NIKKI FRIED CAMPAIGN

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried ran on a platform of what she called 'the three W’s': weapons, water and weed. Within months of her swearing in, it’s that last W that’s already generating a buzz around the state. 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

Gummy bears, oils, cocktails, ice cream ... Products with CBD in them have practically become ubiquitous in South Florida. The chemical CBD comes from the cannabis plant and that fact is leaving business owners in a kind of gray zone. But increasingly the federal government is taking notice, while regulations from the state are forthcoming.