HB 847 was presented to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Representative John Corbett (R), Lake Park on Tuesday. This Bill relates to hemp farming and establishes certain state requirements in order to comply with federal laws and regulations. This bill is a clean up from HB 213 from last session. The USDA did not come out with rules and regulations until last year. The bill clarifies the ability of a greenhouse grower to sell to a farmer. In addition, clarification was added so that college and universities can conduct research for third parties.
The author of the bill was very clear that Hemp is not a controlled substance and therefore not subject to civil forfeiture laws. The prosecuting attorney’s council testified that this is indeed true. Numerous questions were raised by several legislators about whether or not the bill may be criminalizing hemp and contradicting with federal law. The core issue during the discussion was presented by the criminal defense attorneys as the lack of willingness or affordability of a test for field officers. Both the author of the bill and the chairman of the committee indicated that as long as the transporter has the proper paper documentation with them as it relates to Hemp, then there should not be any issues.
The bill was passed by the Committee. CBA will continue to monitor the progress of the bill.