AP NEWS

Florida ag commissioner creates cannabis director position

February 6, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida now has a director of cannabis, who will be tasked with developing a hemp industry for the Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Wednesday that she hired Holly Bell for the position.

Fried took office this year after campaigning on making medical marijuana more accessible and expanding industrial hemp.

Bell has a consulting firm in Nashville, Tennessee, that helps businesses in the hemp industry. She also has experience in banking.

Fried said her top agricultural priority is expanding cannabis farming.

Voters approved medical marijuana in 2016, but the Legislature has been criticized for the way it’s implemented the constitutional amendment.

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