Nikki Fried

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says hemp farming in the Panhandle could bring relief from the billion and a half dollar hit to the region’s timber industry. She joined WFSU’s special Perspectives program this week, broadcast from Mexico Beach, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael that left millions of acres damaged.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Thursday plans to roll out legislative priorities focused on climate change. 

NIKKI FRIED CAMPAIGN

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was among a number of Florida lawmakers who called for national gun control measures after two mass shootings this weekend left at least 32 people dead and many more wounded.

Fried and others, including Senate President Bill Galvano and U.S. Represenattive Charlie Crist, took to Twitter Sunday to voice their dissatisfaction with the background checks currently in place. 

Last week, a circuit court judge ruled that a Florida law imposing penalties on local governments for preempting state gun laws is unconstitutional. Now, the state’s attorney general has filed an appeal, but Florida’s agriculture commissioner is crying foul.

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to prosecute marijuana-related charges, and has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

Jeffrey Schweers / Florida Society of News Editors

When Florida Cabinet members jetted off to Israel in late May, some state employees who traveled at taxpayer expense stayed in a more than $400-a-night luxury hotel in Jerusalem, where a Cabinet meeting was held.

More than a month after the trade mission ended, the full cost of the trip, proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is not clear.

According to State Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida is number one in the nation for fraud. And that includes price gouging.

It can present in a number of different ways, whether it's when you are trying to buy lumber to board up your windows when a hurricane's bearing down, or whether you find you're paying much more at the pump for gasoline than you usually pay. 

DeSantis Convenes Historic Florida Cabinet Meeting In Jerusalem, Signs Anti-Semitism Bill

May 29, 2019
Jeffrey Schweers / Florida Society of News Editors

A long historic day took Gov. Ron DeSantis from the trade shows of Tel Aviv to an industrial park in the disputed Judean Hills of the West Bank to the cradle of Judaism and Christianity for a ceremonial meeting of the Florida Cabinet.

At every stop along the way, he worked to further polish his bona fides as the most pro-Israel U.S. governor by pushing a conservative agenda that promotes open trade, condemns boycotts and criticism of Israel, and outlaws anti-Semitism in schools.

Drones, Drips And Dems: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Takes Her Own Path In Israel

May 28, 2019
Jeffrey Schweers / Pool / Florida Society of News Editors

TEL AVIV – Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried – the state’s highest ranked Democrat and first Jewish woman on the Cabinet – arrived in Israel several days ahead of Gov. Ron DeSantis and his entourage of nearly 100 legislators, lobbyists, business people and academics.

She wanted to conduct her own fact-finding mission to see what she could learn that could benefit Florida farmers. She said Israel is basically situated in a desert but has been able to create “survivorship” by emphasizing agricultural technology.

Groveland Four
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried thanked a group of Plantation students Wednesday for their activism surrounding criminal justice and presented them with a proclamation declaring their "shining example of citizen involvement in government for the people." 

Next time you get gas you might notice a new sticker on the pump featuring state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s face in front of a background of bright yellow, green and blue blocks. Fried’s staff says the new sticker is intended to attract attention and raise awareness about fraud and the use of gas pump skimmers. But the new design doesn’t seem to be popular with the legislature.

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.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the legislature to provide 77 full time employees to help process background checks for gun licensing.

Hemp in Florida is one step closer to legality. A measure legalizing hemp production passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

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