TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida has always been known for its oranges but a new crop could be springing up across the southern state.
Hemp could join oranges, strawberries and tomatoes as a top Florida crop under a bill unanimously passed by the Senate.
The bill passed Tuesday with glowing praise from senators who want to help an agriculture industry that’s taken a lot of hits in recent years.
It would create a state program to administer and oversee the growing of hemp for industrial uses to make everything from ropes to building materials to animal feed.
Republican Sen. Rob Bradley said agriculture has been hit by setbacks ranging from citrus diseases to hurricanes over the last two decades. He said he wants Florida to become a national leader in the hemp industry.
Hemp is related to marijuana but has trace amounts of THC. Bradley said smoking it wouldn’t make people high but rather give them a headache.
A companion House bill is awaiting a floor vote.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)