Plans for more hemp regulations in Florida worry some that it will put them out of business
Florida’s hemp industry is outraged by a legislative plan they say will hurt their business. The measure’s sponsor says the bill is meant to keep companies “in your lane.” The conflict is over how hemp products are defined in state law and how much THC — the chemical compound that induces a euphoric state — can be in hemp products. The proposal would place stricter regulations on the distribution and retail sale of hemp extract to prevent access by minors to certain stimulant-inducing strains of the products. [Source: WFSU]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Economic Backbone: Finance
Lawrence Hatch played for several pro football teams. Today, he leads First Horizon Bank’s Central Florida operations. Hatch says many athletes still seek his guidance and advice on everything from estate planning to real estate deals. “They say, ‘Hatch, can you look at it and let me know if it’s on the up and up?’ And I never charge anything because I’ve seen some of my friends and former teammates take advantage. [Source: Florida Trend]
The Florida citrus forecast remains mostly flat, still at historically low levels
A new citrus forecast update from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that its forecast for the 2022-23 season is mostly the same, except for a small increase in projected grape production. The agency predicts Florida will produce 16.1 million boxes of oranges this season. This includes 10 million boxes of Valencia oranges and 6.1 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges. [Source: Florida Politics]
Heavy rain, strong winds, dangerous surf in the forecast for Florida, Gulf Coast
Florida and the Gulf Coast are bracing for some tropical rain this week. Some rain could be heavy enough to disrupt travel, according to AccuWeather forecasters. Coastal flooding is of particular concern to communities along Florida’s central coast, which were hit hard by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022. Onshore winds in these areas can cause flooding problems, especially during high tides today. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
Florida gun sales may be off-limits to future credit card trackers
A proposal to restrict dealer codes for gun and ammunition sales in Florida is ready for the full House. It has already been approved by the Senate, largely along party lines. Credit-card companies use four-digit codes to collect data on purchases at businesses such as restaurants, department stores, and gas stations. Credit card giants Visa, MasterCard, and American Express announced last year that they planned to add what’s known as merchant category codes to stores that sell guns. [Source: WUSF]
Also around Florida:
› The first-ever Tampa Bay Wine and Food Festival kicks off this week
As further evidence of the thriving local food scene, a major food and wine festival is coming to Tampa for the first time. The Tampa Bay Wine and Food Festival begins April 12 and runs through April 15 in Hyde Park Village and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. It is produced by Miami-based CI Management, an event company that puts on the South Beach Seafood Festival.
› Family that founded Winn-Dixie plans 10,000 homes for fast-growing area in Jacksonville
A major development in Southeast Jacksonville passed the first set of regulatory hurdles to get approval from the Jacksonville City Council, but will take nearly 25 years to finally complete. The project could potentially bring more than 10,000 housing units to the area as well as commercial spaces and plots for conservation.
> Health First tells employees not to panic after more than a year of financial losses
Health First, Brevard County’s largest employer and leading healthcare provider, is trying to climb out of a financial hole caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, rising costs and technology contracts, according to financial documents reviewed by Florida Today and interviews with the company. Executives. Health First Inc. lost more than $169 million in its 2021-22 budget year, plus an additional $7 million in the first three months of the current budget year.
› UF changes strategy, leadership around NIL law
UF will change strategy and leadership around name, image and equality laws that have created confusion, conflicting views, oversight challenges and a high-profile public relations flop involving former quarterback commit Jaden Rashada. Many players from the state’s premier universities have benefited from the NIL after the July 1, 2021, enactment of the law. But Florida Victorious aims to streamline the process for all parties involved, prevent potential violations of NCAA rules or state laws, and eliminate competing agendas.
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