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How to Start a Hemp Business in Florida

Posted 6 months ago by GVB Biopharma
GVB Biopharma

GVB Biopharma White-Label Program

Florida’s farming industry, traditionally a major epicenter of agriculture in the United States, has recently been hit with major setbacks that have caused many landowners to switch from conventional crops to hemp. At the same time, Florida’s CBD oil market has boomed in the wake of both state and federal laws giving the green light to hemp producers and consumers.

There are many ways to start a hemp business in Florida, and not all of them involve growing or even processing your own hemp. What’s the best way to make money with hemp in 2022, and why should you choose GVB Biopharma as your supplier of cannabinoid products in Florida? Find the answers in this guide.

When did hemp become legal in Florida?

Hemp became federally legal with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, and Florida echoed this position with a state bill that was signed into law in 2020. Ever since, Florida farmers have been free to grow and process hemp, and consumers in the Sunshine State have been given the go-ahead to consume hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC. For Florida hemp cultivators, though, prospects aren’t necessarily all sunshine and roses as the state motto would have you think.

Florida CBD regulations overview

In Florida, you’re free to purchase and consume CBD products as long as you’re over the age of 18 and the products in question contain less than 0.3% THC. While Florida has a thriving medical cannabis program, you don’t need a medical card to buy CBD products in the Sunshine State. If you want to grow hemp or produce CBD products in Florida, however, you’ll need to acquire appropriate licensing from the state government.

How much is the Florida hemp market worth?

According to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) commissioner Nikki Freid, the state’s hemp industry contributed $370 million to the Florida economy in 2020 with further growth expected in subsequent years. These numbers make two points abundantly clear: Floridians are interested in using hemp products, and there’s still plenty of room to capitalize on those consumer needs.

Selling hemp in Florida: Requirements & factors to consider

There are a lot of questions you need to ask before you start selling hemp in Florida. Some of the most important factors to keep in mind include:

Do you need a license to sell hemp in Florida?

Yes, you will need to be properly licensed if you want to produce or sell hemp products in Florida. Unlike many other states, Florida allows CBD to be included in food and drink products, but as a result, all hemp producers in the state must apply for a Hemp Food Establishment Permit—whether they intend to add CBD to food and drinks or not.

As part of the qualification process of receiving this permit, you must prove that your facility meets the sanitation requirements the state sets in place for all food industry businesses. If you intend to add CBD to dairy products, you must apply for further licensing.

How much is a hemp permit in Florida?

The state of Florida charges $650 per Hemp Food Establishment Permit, which is required for all businesses producing hemp products intended for human consumption. This permit must be renewed every year, and an additional $650 fee is applied with each renewal.

What do you need to get a hemp permit in Florida?

The requirements for receiving a Hemp Food Establishment Permit in Florida are quite strenuous. Applicants must familiarize themselves with the guidelines provided in Florida Statute Section 581.217 and Florida Administrative Code Rule 5K-4.034, and they must adhere to the state’s standards for all facilities producing goods for human consumption.

Furthermore, you must apply for the correct type of licensing for your particular business. There are three options: a Wholesale/Manufactured Food Establishment Permit, a Retail Food Establishment Permit, or a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Edibles Food Establishment Permit. Then, it is also necessary to apply for a general Florida food permit.

The state of Florida sends officials to personally inspect every new hemp business before operations commence. In addition to these state requirements, counties and municipalities in Florida may also have their own regulations for hemp businesses operating in their jurisdictions.

Is hemp hard to farm in Florida?

Florida is an ideal environment for growing many crops. Hemp, however, only thrives in well-drained soil, so the marshy boglands of Florida’s southern expanses are not particularly ideal for hemp agriculture. Northern Florida, on the other hand, is a near-perfect climate for hemp cultivation. Experienced farmers and long-standing operations are able to navigate the variable terrain which can potentially threaten crops due to natural diseases or susceptibility to pests. 

Is growing hemp profitable in Florida?

Depending upon one’s experience, growing hemp in Florida can certainly be profitable. A combination of onerous state regulations, plentiful plant diseases, and less-than-ideal environmental conditions in the southern half of the state may stymie would-be hemp entrepreneurs.

How to start a CBD business in Florida: Step-by-step

If you want to sell CBD in Florida, there are a few steps you’ll need to take:

1. Acquire all relevant licensing

Make sure to acquire all licensing you may need before you take any other steps in establishing your Florida hemp business. We recommend contacting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services if you are not sure which types of permitting are required for your venture.

2. Come up with a business plan

How will you acquire your products, where will you sell them, and how will you market them? Answer these questions by creating a detailed business plan.

3. Find a source of CBD

Determine where you will source your CBD bulk ingredients or finished CBD products. Will you face down Florida’s strict regulations and produce your own CBD, or will you purchase pre-formulated products in bulk from an out-of-state producer—bypassing many licensing requirements?

4. Formulate your products

Start producing the products you listed in your business plan. Either come up with formulations on your own or enlist the help of an established white label producer like GVB Biopharma

5. Market your brand

Determine how you will spread awareness of your brand among Florida hemp consumers. A qualified CBD private labeler will be able to help you with marketing concerns.

6. Adapt to evolving market dynamics

As a hemp brand, never rest on your laurels. The CBD industry is evolving rapidly nationwide, and nowhere are these changes more apparent than in Florida, one of the nation’s largest and most politically tumultuous states.

Benefits of working with a Florida white label CBD manufacturer

There are quite a few reasons it’s better to work with a white label CBD oil producer when you’re starting a hemp business in Florida. Some of the most compelling benefits include:

Better products

Professionally made products are simply better than the types of formulations you can come up with on a start-up budget. Not only is product quality improved when you work with an established white labeler, but the products you purchase will likely cost less per cannabinoid.

Reduced legwork

In some states, acquiring the permits necessary to cultivate and process hemp does not constitute a significant barrier of entry for aspiring CBD businesses. By lumping hemp cultivation in with food production however, Florida makes it both difficult and expensive for new hemp producers to start out.

Florida still requires that you be licensed even if you sell completely preformulated hemp products. Acquiring licensing as a company selling white label CBD products is, however, considerably simpler than becoming licensed as a Florida hemp cultivator and processor.

Increased profitability

By cultivating and processing hemp on an industrial scale in states where licensing requirements are more agreeable, white label CBD producers are able to offer better products at a lower price point. Paying less per milligram of CBD you acquire allows you to make more profit when selling hemp products in Florida.

How to choose a Florida private label CBD manufacturer

The benefits of working with a private label CBD oil manufacturer are clear. How do you choose the right white labeler for your needs, though?

Prioritize full vertical integration

Splitting up the processes necessary to create a finished CBD product only leaves more room for error. Companies that control every aspect of the hemp production process, viafull vertical integration are able to offer better products at lower prices.

Demand comprehensive compliance

Companies must contend with licensing and certification requirements wherever they produce hemp in the United States. Qualified white label hemp producers actively seek out any available opportunities for compliance and offer full transparency regarding the certifications they have received.

Check for lab testing

For larger hemp producers, third-party testing is not always prioritized. However, the right hemp white labeler will, test its products with an accredited third party laboratory as well as using in-house resources throughout the formulation process in order to provide customers with comprehensive and detailed lab reports.

Ask about customization

One size certainly does not fit all when you need to stand out in an increasingly competitive hemp industry. The best white label CBD manufacturers provide a wide range of options for creating customized finished products. 

Evaluate customer service capability

Ideally, you’ll be working with the wholesale CBD manufacturer you choose for a long time. Seek out a company that goes out of its way to listen to each client’s particular needs and business desires. 

The bottom line: Starting a CBD business in Florida

The Sunshine State may be a land of golden opportunity for shrewd hemp entrepreneurs, but it’s also an industry rife with landmines for CBD businesses that are less than diligent in the many facets of business formation and legal compliance. With unsurpassed production capability, utilization of organic and non-GMO ingredients, and particularized attention to licensing and certification processes, GVB Biopharma is the ideal partner for aspiring hemp businesses in Florida and elsewhere across the country.

Providing some of the nation’s best cannabinoid products at the most reasonable prices, GVB Biopharma serves as a trusted advisor for Florida CBD entrepreneurs seeking to make the most out of their state’s unique circumstances. Contact GVB Biopharma today to bring your Florida hemp business dreams to life.

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