Join us while we talk to hemp expert, Brian Rakita. This is the first episode in a series dedicated to bring you all in the information you need to know about hemp. In this episode, we solve hemp related questions: What is hemp? How is hemp different from marijuana? What is CBD? How old is hemp? Why was hemp banned in the past? Why is hemp so good for farmers? What are some hemp uses? and more.



Brian Rakita, Senior Inspection Manager & Certification Reviewer, has been passionately involved with organic farming since the 90’s. Today, he explains the basics of hemp!

What is hemp and how is it different than marihuana?

Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same plan species, Cannabis sativa. One of the main differences between these two varieties of cannabis is their chemical makeup: THC is the psychoactive present in marijuana that produces a high or sense of euphoria. While marijuana has a high concentration of THC, hemp has been bred to have an extremely low THC concentration (max THC level <0.3%), making it impossible to get any psychoactive effects. Hemp also presents a high concentration of CBD, which is used to treat a handful of medical conditions

How old is hemp?

Hemp was probably one of the earliest plants to be cultivated for textile fiber. Although hemp played a major role in the development of our nation, it was eventually dimmed by cotton and other synthetic fibers.

Ban on hemp and decriminalization

As a product of lobbing and propaganda from parties interested in introducing new synthetic fabrics into the textile market, jointly with the hysteria against recreational marijuana, hemp got scheduled as a highly addictive drug and placed in the Schedule I of controlled substances in late 1937. It was not until 2018, when the new Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill) removed hemp from Schedule I controlled substances and decriminalized the cultivation and sale of hemp at the federal level. The bill allows each state to create a hemp regulatory program, which must comply and be approved by USDA.

Is hemp good for farmers?

Hemp is a great crop! Is naturally resistant to bugs, serving as a barrier to protect crops. Hemp also grows in a variety of conditions, and there are multiple uses for hemp byproducts. Most popular use for hemp is as a textile, but hemp can also serve has a building material and animal feed.

Hemp in Florida

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is currently working on the required regulatory plan, which must be approved by USDA.  FDACS is also working on the legislature that will ensure hemp and CBD products sold in the State meet the standards for consumer protection.

For more information on the ruling, standards, and future license application visit FDACS – hemp/CBD in Florida.