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Florida Considers Accelerating Hemp Research as Orange Alternative
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) In Florida, state legislators are looking to ease restrictions on industrial hemp research. According to the Florida State Senate, house bill 1217 that “authorizes specified universities in state to engage in industrial hemp research projects” has been “pending review of CS under Rule 7.18(c)” since Wednesday of last week. Representative Ralph Massullo, sponsor of the bill, said industrial hemp is a viable crop option for industry-starved rural areas and may “even surpass oranges”. Under the proposed law, “universities could see how Florida’s climate affects the plant and what market there is for the byproducts.” Some Floridians believe industrial hemp could become the next agricultural powerhouse.
The proposed Florida house bill states:
Industrial hemp is a suitable crop for this state, and its production will contribute positively to the future of agriculture in the state. The infrastructure needed to process industrial hemp will increase business opportunities and new jobs in communities throughout the state. As a food crop, industrial hemp seeds and oil produced from the seeds have high nutritional value, including healthy fats and proteins. As a fiber crop, industrial hemp can be used in the manufacture of products such as clothing, building supplies, and animal bedding. READ MORE