DeSantis Plans on Vetoing Bill Banning Hemp Intoxicants in Florida

Florida’s governor may soon reject a legislation — Senate Bill 1698 — that would limit and regulate the sale of marijuana products in the state. The legislation, if signed into law, would restrict the sale of products with THC. It would also ban the manufacture and sale of potent products that contain delta 8 and 10.

Supporters of hemp state that if the legislation becomes law, it could eliminate the hemp industry, cost Florida billions in revenue and lead to thousands of people losing their jobs. By vetoing the Senate Bill 1698, Governor Ron DeSantis will help keep the hemp industry alive.

Sources close to the governor have revealed that this move by DeSantis is meant to fund his campaign against a constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational cannabis for any individual in the state aged 21 and above. This is despite the fact that the state of Florida approved medical cannabis use in 2016. As of last year, the cannabis industry in the state recorded about $2 billion in sales.

One source notes that prior to this, there was no thought that DeSantis would veto the measure. However, with the recent news, it would be fair to say that he was leaning towards one.

A different source who supports the hemp measure and is frustrated by the governor’s potential change in heart explained that it didn’t make sense how DeSantis could be against recreational cannabis but support hemp, unless of course, what he was really looking for from the hemp industry was money.

The governor’s official spokesperson declined to comment, stating that the public would be informed when a decision was made.

It is important to note that the marijuana industry and the hemp industry are two separate entities and competitors in Florida. Both marijuana and hemp are obtained from the cannabis plant, with the former coming from the female plant and containing higher THC levels. On the other hand, hemp products are manufactured from male plants and contain lower THC levels.

When the 2018 Farm Bill was approved by Congress, hemp products were made legal with minimal regulation. This allowed the nascent industry to grow exponentially but also allowed potency in products to be significantly higher than was advertised. Hemp critics argue that little testing and regulation has allowed these products to proliferate the market, with hemp shops or smoke shops making it easier for even children to access these products.

It is expected that the governor could cite any number of reasons to support his veto, including the issue of smell. In the past, DeSantis campaigned against cannabis primarily because of the odor that was emitted when people smoked the drug.

The developing story about the bill seeking to ban hemp intoxicants and the expected veto from DeSantis is likely to capture the attention of many companies, including Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC), because the example set in Florida could be followed in other jurisdictions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ASTC

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