JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are taking another crack at banning hemp products with high levels of psychoactive chemicals like Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC.
The bill cleared its second House committee Monday afternoon and is already teed up for a floor vote in the Florida Senate.
In 2020, there were 333 calls to Florida Poison Control involving children exposed to hemp products.
Last year, there were nearly 800 calls, which is just shy of a 240% increase for three years.
“The numbers are exploding,” said Mike McCormick with Florida Poison Control.
McCormick explained psychoactive chemicals added to products like Delta-8, Delta-10, and others are the primary culprit.
But he added the lack of regulations around the industry also poses other risks to health and safety.
“They’ve found mold that was in the hemp made it through to the final edible product. They’ve found pesticides,” said McCormick.
Last year, Florida lawmakers imposed new packaging requirements, which prohibited the products from being presented in ways that could be appealing to children.
This year, state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would entirely ban products with high concentrations of serval THC derivatives.
Gabe Suarez owns Natural Life, which sells hemp products in Jacksonville and other Florida cities.
His company ensures the quality of its products with independent lab testing.
Suarez argued lawmakers would better serve consumers by implementing more quality-control regulations, rather than imposing a flat ban.
“Let the consumer choose and then the government can provide the rules to play by to keep everybody safe,” said Suarez.
McCormick noted even if the proposed ban passes, lawmakers will likely find themselves in a game of whack-a-mole, as new chemicals are being synthesized regularly.
“We’re kind of chasing this explosion in products and because there’s more products out there, what we see is more children getting into them,” said McCormick.
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Florida lawmakers are taking another crack at banning hemp products with high levels of psychoactive chemicals like Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC. Read More