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US (FL): Licensed hemp acreage nearly equal to the one of tomatoes

Hemp is a hot new crop in Florida’s agriculture inventory in the seven months since it was first allowed to be legally grown in the Sunshine State, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told business leaders.

Fried said 22,078 acres are currently licensed for hemp, nearly equal to the acreage in Florida of tomatoes, watermelon and snap peas, and double the strawberry production.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services first issued hemp cultivation permits on April 27.

“I have projected that we are going to have seen, within the next three to five years, nearly 300,000 acres, which is about half of what citrus is,” Fried told members of the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors in a call Tuesday. “So, imagine all the citrus industry here in the state of Florida, about 700,000 acres, and so we’re going to be getting close to half of that.”


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