The Institute of Food and Agricultural Services at the University of Florida is now conducting research into transitioning Florida's agricultural sector into the industrial farming of hemp. Hemp production is an exciting opportunity for our local farmers to utilize Florida land to venture into the growth of a new crop.
In this video, Florida Director of Cannabis, Holly Bell and assistant professor Dr. Zachary Brym from the Department of Agronomy at UF’s Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) sit down to discuss the The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Hemp Pilot program. Zachary is the program coordinator and is overseeing the research for UF/IFAS.
Industrial hemp is not the same as marijuana and is distinguished from marijuana by its low THC content and high CBD content. Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years and is used in building material, for fiber production, and in food products.
The research being conducted over a 2-year-period depends on gathering information from communities that have already been involved in hemp production, and assessing how best to translate that information into healthy commercialization of hemp here in our own state. The research will be aimed at providing farmers with relevant and helpful information about hemp production in order to assist in successful crop production. The research will also attempt to ensure that hemp production is done in a way that is healthy to Florida's environment.
About Holly Bell
Bell is the Director of Cannabis and oversees the development of rules, works directly with scientific experts, and ensures Commissioner Fried’s vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward. After a career in banking and financial services, Bell consulted on cannabis business issues in numerous states. She has worked to build the infrastructure to support the creation of Tennessee’s cannabis industry, following passage of that state’s industrial hemp legislation. Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University. Learn more about Holly Bell.
About Dr. Zachary Brym
Brym is the Program Coordinator for the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project as well as Assistant Professor in the Department of Agronomy. His research and extension programs cover a broad range of topics related to agroecology with a focus on crop physiology, diversity and management. Learn more about Dr. Zachary Brym.