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  • Writer's pictureTheresa M. Kraa

How a Hemp Plant will change Florida's Agricultural Economy & Commercial Real Estate

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

Have you heard of CBD, Hemp or the Cannabis Industry? It's definitely a hot topic spoken about in many media outlets and around the country. Who would have predicted even just a few short years ago, that we would be calling this an industry. A billion dollar industry!! While this is still considered a touchy subject by many, due to the federal status, but it is not going away anytime soon. I am personally very excited about the possibilities that this market brings to this country's economy, our health care system and many other segments of business, such as real estate (my favorite.)

Specifically regarding the effects of the Cannabis Industry for real estate in Florida, it is about to take a serious turn toward a booming market. The serious turn I reference will take place with the new Hemp Cultivation Licensing process that will open to the markets on April 27th, 2020, via the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) website - linked here. This is an exciting progression in the departments journey to bring Hemp Farming to the state of Florida.

Take a moment to preview the video below that showcases the cultivation process as directed by FDACS. It touches on the subject of real estate, specific to the zoning of properties wanting to farm and cultivate hemp plants.

According to FDACS, the land using for Hemp Farming will need to be zoned under the label of; Agriculture, Industrial, or Registered Plant Nursery - referring to local zoning codes for each county or municipality for specific labels.

To further support the land specifications for this license procedure, the USDA has set a Plan for the State of Florida as described in the document linked below. I will highlight a few sections for you to reference.

PDF page 24: a licensee will need to provide with the application:

(d) An environmental containment plan for each Lot.

An environmental containment plan must include the following:

1. A containment system of silt fences, berms, or fallow areas consisting of bare earth or ground cover to prevent the hemp from spreading beyond the Lot.

2. A plan to clean any equipment used on the Lot of all debris before it is moved from the property.

PDF page 25:

(f) Only cultivate hemp on lands that are used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes pursuant to s. 193.461, F.S., lands located within an area zoned for agricultural or industrial use, or at a nursery as defined in s. 581.011, F.S.

PDF page 45: Location information on Application:

Cultivation Location(s):

Provide the address, legal land description, tax parcel number, and GPS coordinates for each location where hemp will be cultivated.

Use ADDITIONAL CULTIVATION LOCATION section on page 4 for each additional cultivation location.

Address: Street City State Zip Code

Legal Land Description:

Tax Parcel Number:

GPS coordinates:

Outside planting (acres):

Inside planting (square feet):

Cultivation Location is (check all that apply):

☐ Classified Agricultural pursuant to s. 193.461, F.S.

☐ Zoned for Agricultural Use

☐ Zoned for Industrial Use

☐ A Nursery as defined in s. 581.011, F.S.

Storage Location for Harvested Hemp:

Provide the address and GPS coordinates where any harvested hemp will be stored for inspection. Address: Street City State Zip Code GPS coordinates:

If you are wondering if Florida's existing farmers are on board with this new type of crop, you only need to count the number of attendees to the recent Florida Ag Expo held in November 2019 at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. As reported in the link below, a record crowd of over 1000 attendees the expo and seminars, specifically drawn by the subject of industrial hemp presented by prominent speakers, Holly Bell, director of cannabis for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Doris Hamilton, hemp program manager for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Paul Adams, industrial hemp program manager for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Florida's AgNews Expo

So, it beg the questions, "What does this mean for properties that fall under these zoning labels? Will there be hemp farms in the middle of the city in industrial parks? Will there be farms inside greenhouses? Will there be Hemp Plants in the field next to homes in rural areas?"

With these regulations in place, I will explore the the questions above as the applications are processed in future blog posts. The commercial real estate markets will adapt to this new industry starting in Florida and property owners need to be aware of what these farmers and cannabis operations will require to lease or purchase your property. I am here to help prepare property owners with a changing market and how to get the best return on their investment.

©Copyright 2020 Reinvest In Orlando - Theresa M. Kraa, REALTOR®, NHCB

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