TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Agricultural Commissioner Wilton Simpson Monday vowed to fight litigation challenging a state law aimed to protect children against high-potency hemp products.
“To this plaintiff, who wants to fight our department’s effort to keep children safe – bring it on,” Simpson said in a release.
The commissioners remarks follow a lawsuit filed to the Southern District of Florida by Just Brands LLC prohibiting the company from selling Cannabidiol, or CBD. Simpson claims the products are “attractive to children” buyers outside Florida.
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Just Brands LLC sells and markets hemp related products on its website. Those include cartridges, oils, creams, tinctures and gummies to consumers by mail order.
Certain Just Brands products are contained with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The ingredient is widely associated with “being high”, which Cannabis often endures.
According to the company, CBD products are meant for stress, for sleep, for pain and for pets.
The lawsuit stems from a bill passed during the 2023 Legislative Session reforming Florida’s hemp law to better protect consumers, including children. SB 1676 set age requirements for the purchase of hemp products meant for human consumption.
Under the law, hemp products targeting children are prohibited. Goods also are required to be packaged safely and ingested under the same health and safety guidelines as other food products.
“As Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, one of my top responsibilities is ensuring the safety of our food and protecting Florida’s consumers,” Simpson said. “Prior to the changes made to Florida law last year, hemp extract products were out of control and sold without restrictions, including to children and with marketing and packaging specifically targeting them.”
After passing in the Florida Legislature, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1676 June 27. The law went into effect July 1.
Since the law was enacted, the state has found over 107,000 packages of hemp extract targeting children.
“As a direct result of Florida’s negligent oversight of this industry, children across our state were ingesting high-potency hemp extract products, which can have real and serious medical consequence,” Simpson said. “In 2022, nearly 1,000 children were exposed to high-potency THC products across Florida that resulted in calls to Poison Information Centers.”
Florida Agricultural Commissioner Wilton Simpson Monday vowed to fight litigation challenging a state law aimed to protect children against high-potency hemp products. Read More