Nikki Fried

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to prosecute marijuana-related charges, and has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

Fried speaks at podium
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida is edging closer to a legal hemp industry. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) wrapped its final rulemaking workshop Monday.

A field of hemp plants
jessicahyde / Adobe Stock

The Florida Agriculture Department has released its first draft of proposed rules for a state hemp program. This comes ahead of hemp rulemaking workshops beginning later this week.

Rep. Mike Hill smiles during the 2016 legislative session
Steve Cannon / AP

The Florida Cabinet has joined a growing list of officials weighing in on a Florida lawmaker's controversial anti-gay exchange with a constituent. 

Tomato plants
Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock

Florida farmers are struggling to compete with cheaper, foreign imports from countries such as Mexico. Farmers worry unfair trade practices endanger the state's agriculture industry.

A bucket filled with blueberries.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU

The latest round of tariffs levied by the Trump Administration is taking a toll on the nation’s agriculture industry. In Florida, the tariffs threaten a trade deal that’s been years in the making. 

A marijuana plant
Dan Balilty / AP

Thirty-eight attorneys general signed a letter this week urging Congress to bring marijuana money into the federal banking system. But Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s signature was notably absent.

Hemp Florida
Eric Risberg / AP

A state Senate panel approved a proposed bill that would legalize hemp products.

hemp florida
Don Ryan / AP

Hemp in Florida is one step closer to legality. A measure legalizing hemp production passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

marianna sign hurricane michael
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Michael is slow, costly and ongoing. As donations to the area stall and media coverage fades, some residents of the Forgotten Coast fear the area is living up to its name.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Leaders in state government gathered Wednesday as they do every year for the Associated Press’ Legislative Planning Session. Each came to voice priorities for the coming session and field questions from the Capital press corps. From education to medical marijuana to infrastructure, WFSU was on hand to catch it all. The following is an overview of what speakers, including the entire Florida Cabinet, brought to the table:

Blaise Gainey

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried gave details Wednesday about the new role she hopes the state Director of Cannabis will fill. 

Ron DeSantis speaking at the podium.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Florida’s Cabinet voted Tuesday to place Airbnb on the state’s Scrutinized Companies List. 

The move comes after Airbnb announced plans last November to remove roughly 200 listings in the West Bank, Israel because of safety concerns. 

Blaise Gainey

Monday night Commissioner Nikki Fried held an inaugural celebration event where Democrats all over Florida and others attended as special guests DJ Irie and Wyclef Jean put on a show. Fried stopped the party for a moment to speak about her priorities.

NRA Institute for Legislative Action / https://www.nraila.org/articles/20171206/house-passes-concealed-carry-reciprocity

Lawmakers and gun rights advocates are squabbling over who should have control of Florida’s concealed weapons permits. Internal reports from the Agriculture Department and an official review have highlighted problems with the current system. 

Cannabis leaves and leaf
Drew Taylor / Unsplash

The legality of medical marijuana is still largely a gray area in the eyes of the federal government. The confusion impacting banks, dispensaries and policy is leading some, like democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agricuture Nikki Fried, to call for reform.

Nikki Fried is dressed in a business suit clutching a podium with microphones resting close to her.
Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

Florida democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is making medical marijuana a key part of her platform. The South Florida lobbyist is calling for federal legislation and vowing to expand the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Nikki Fried is dressed in a business suit clutching a podium with microphones resting close to her.
Ryan Dailey / WFSUNews

A Democratic candidate in the race for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture says she’s been “targeted” after her campaign account was closed by Wells Fargo. Nikki Fried claims it’s because of her advocacy for medical marijuana.

WLRN.org

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters.