Florida gets DEA clearance to grow hemp in 2019

Florida agriculture officials have completed preparations to grow hemp in the Sunshine State and say they’re ready to plant seeds in 2019.

According to Growing Produce, a trade publication for specialty-crop growers, that’s far sooner than originally expected.

Florida legalized hemp production in 2017, but officials warned it could take several years to find a cultivar that could grow under the 0.3% THC limit in Florida’s tropical and subtropical climate.

But the initial work at the University of Florida has wrapped up, and three cities have been identified for hemp cultivation in 2019:

  • Quincy (panhandle area).
  • Hague (north-central Florida).
  • Homestead (south Florida).

University agronomist Zachary Brym told Growing Produce that the school received DEA clearance to import live hempseeds.

There is no timetable for private commercial hemp production to begin, but Brym said research is just around the corner.

“We will be importing seeds ASAP and plan to put plants in the ground during spring 2019,” he said.