FDACS Releases Updated Rules for Smokable Hemp in Florida

In this post:

  • What Products are Covered Under the Rule?
  • What are the Packing Requirements?
  • What are the Testing Requirements for Smokable Hemp?
  • What are the Age Restrictions?
  • What are the Permit Requirements?
  • What are the Labeling Requirements?
  • Can Stores Sell These Products However They Want?
  • The Bottom Line?

Nearly a year after Florida launched its Hemp Program, the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) finally proposed rules (5K-4.036) for “Hemp Extract Intended for Inhalation.” The public comment period ended Monday, and regulations are now in effect.

ACS attended the rule development workshop on August 26th, and we’ve got the scoop. Whether you’re a farmer, consumer, third party laboratory, manufacturer, or hemp processor, here’s what you need to know.

What Products are Covered Under the Rule?

FDACS intends to regulate any hemp product that you can take in through the mouth or nasal passage. That includes (but is not limited to):

  • Smokable hemp flower
  • Vapes containing hemp extract
  • Nasal sprays containing hemp extract
  • CBD inhalers

What are the Packaging Requirements?

All “products containing Hemp Extract Intended for Inhalation” must be packaged in containers that reduce exposure to light. FDACS notes the purpose is to prevent degrading the cannabinoids, which would alter the potency of the product.

**Moreover, reducing light exposure can help prevent the bottle from overheating and accidentally releasing chemicals from the material into the product. We think this is a really important addition to the rule, considering the rampant issue of lead contamination in Florida hemp products.

What are the Testing Requirements for Smokable Hemp?

Hemp establishments must work with designated Florida testing labs to prove their smokable product contains less than 0.3% THC. Smokable hemp products must also be free of contaminants, including pesticides, molds, or metals above the allowable.

Most contaminant requirements mirror those listed in Department’s rule (5K-4.034) for ingestible hemp. However, there are a few notable additions.

  • Vitamin E acetate, a vape thickening agent that is under investigation for its role in respiratory illness and death.
  • 2,3-butanedione (Diacetyl), a flavoring agent that is linked to lung disease over repeated usage.
  • Aspergillus, a fungus present in the air we breath, which can cause disease in people with damaged lungs, allergies or a weakened immune system.

What are the Age Restrictions?

Similar to alcohol and tobacco in Florida, smokable hemp products are limited to adults ages 21 and older. Moreover retailers must post a large sign that reads ”The sale of hemp extract intended for inhalation to persons under the age of 21 is prohibited. Proof of age is required for purchase.”

What are the Permit Requirements?

Any establishment that sells smokable hemp products must apply for a Hemp Food Establishment. Notably, this requirement is not limited to brick and mortar stores. Online ecommerce stores must also apply for a permit.

What are the Labeling Requirements?

Hemp extract intended for inhalation in Florida must follow the rules for labeling set forth for ingestible products. That includes requirements like adding a QR code that links to the Certificate of Analysis (COA), and printing the expiration date on the label. In addition, companies that produce smokable hemp must:

  • Include the name and address of the manufacturer
  • Declare the mgs of each cannabinoid, such as CBD and CBN, per unit
  • Not make any medical claims that would “render it a drug”
  • Include the statement. “This Hemp Extract product is not intended for ingestion”

Can Stores Sell These Products However They Want?

No. Stores cannot merchandise smokable hemp in open displays. These products must be located in areas that are not accessible to customers, such as behind the counter.

The Bottom Line

Smokable hemp regulations are big news for Florida consumers. It means they can have peace of mind knowing products must be tested and proven safe. These rules are also a big deal for farmers, retailers, and processors looking to expand into new markets. At ACS, we’ve been testing for Vitamin E for nearly a year and we’re ready to begin conducting compliance testing today.

Call us today.

About ACS Laboratory

ACS Laboratory is The Most Trusted Cannabis and Hemp Laboratory in the USA™. Founded in 2008, ACS Laboratory is DEA licensed, AHCA licensed, an ISO17025 accredited and CLIA accredited laboratory with the largest state-of-the-art testing facility in the eastern USA. USDA compliant and officially a “Designated Compliance Laboratory” by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS/DPI), as well as a “CMTL” (Certified Marijuana Testing Lab) by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).

The laboratory uses state-of-the-art, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MSMS, GC/MS and ICP/MS) technology and has developed proprietary testing methodologies which created enhanced detection ability and improved accuracy.

ACS Laboratory’s 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is located outside of Tampa, at 721 Cortaro Dr., Sun City Center, FL 33573.

For more information, visit acslabcannabis.com or call (813) 670-9157.

Watch this video on what ACS Laboratory tests and read its blog for up-to-date information on cannabis science and lab testing for both the hemp and cannabis industries.

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