In a determined move to protect minors from potentially enticing and dangerous substances, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson recently unveiled a substantial discovery. More than 8,700 packages of hemp-extract products, designed in a manner likely to captivate the attention of children, were found by inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) at Top Private Labels Co. in Daytona Beach.

The visually appealing yet questionably packaged products were promptly placed under a “stop sale order” to prevent their entry into the Florida market. Commissioner Simpson emphasized the critical need to safeguard the well-being of children and consumers, particularly from ingestible products that could pose severe risks when consumed by minors.

To counter these risks, Commissioner Simpson collaborated with lawmakers during the 2023 Legislative Session, resulting in SB 1676. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Colleen Burton and Rep. Will Robinson, garnered unanimous approval in both legislative chambers. Among its key provisions, the law upheld the age limit of 21 and imposed a statewide ban on packaging that might allure children. Moreover, it mandated safe packaging and enforced health and safety standards similar to those governing food products.

FDACS has been vigilant in enforcing these measures, conducting extensive inspections of businesses selling hemp-extract products. The department’s efforts included examining over 700 establishments across all 67 Florida counties, uncovering a substantial number—more than 107,400—of attractively packaged hemp products.

Florida’s proactive steps in reforming hemp laws and implementing stringent regulations exemplify a robust commitment to ensuring consumer safety and shielding children from potentially harmful substances. This crackdown underscores the state’s dedication to adapt and fortify regulatory frameworks in response to evolving market dynamics and emerging challenges.

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