Bell said she could barely contain her excitement looking at all the harvested plants in the middle of a greenhouse in Central Florida.
Bell said she knows that 2021 is the year for hemp to take over.
“What we’re seeing in our preliminary numbers from our economists in our groups is tax revenues in the first full 12 months around $17 million,” Bell said.
She said that hemp is already bringing in lots of money, but also thousands of jobs.
“We believe it will be right around 9,500 new jobs and it could be more than that,” Bell said.
These numbers include Treadwell Farms located in Umatilla, Florida who have seen an increase in both production and jobs over the last 12 months.
“One of the things that’s important to us is that we can support our community with these locally grown products,” said Jammie Treadwell, Owner of Treadwell Farms.
Coming from a small town in the middle of the state, the Treadwell’s are already starting to make their mark in the hemp industry.
“There is no other state that I know in the country that can get off as many harvests as we can in Florida,” Treadwell said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to be focused on how we can grow these plants and do something positive to support our state.”
For the Treadwell’s, they focused much of 2020 on manufacturing. This year, they’re turning their attention to local businesses, including Seed and Bean Market in downtown Ft. Myers.
“It’s very exciting to have partners we know are Florida based. We know them, we can trust them,” Owner Cole Peacock tells us.
Located in the heart of downtown, Peacock says they always aim to be trendsetters in the wellness industry.
“We knew that the federal farm bill was going to take place. We knew that hemp would be legal. We also knew that nobody else in the nation was doing this,” Peacock said.
Which is why partnering with Treadwell Farms to get locally grown hemp into their marketplaces was a no brainer.
“When you know your farmers and have a relationship and you can stand on their farm and touch and feel and see the product…it puts a special feeling to it,” Peacock said.
So in addition to the hemp pastries, drinks, and even merchandise Seed and Bean already offers, visitors can expect hemp flower, edibles and lotions any day.
“I think that’s going to be another element to your economic driver. That people that want it, know about it, that haven’t been able to purchase it…now they will,” Peacock said.
When it comes to growing and distributing hemp, Florida is one of the only states in the country that regulates the crop from start to finish.
For this reason, experts warn that if anyone is looking to buy local hemp products, make sure it has a Florida seal of approval. If it doesn’t, research the company before buying and using.