TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two key legislative priorities for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), HB 921, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and HB 1275, Amusement Rides were signed into law.
“From enhancing safety precautions for amusement rides, to supporting our wildland firefighters and strengthening the state hemp program, these new measures help our department carry out vital responsibilities that help keep Florida growing. These improvements include critical updates to help Florida’s hemp program become the national model, and increasing fair ride safety standards to protect Floridians” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Thank you to bill sponsors Representative Brannan, Representative Pritchett, Senator Albritton, and Senator Book for working with us on this legislation that will benefit Florida’s families, farmers, and consumers.”
HB 921 updates a variety of duties under FDACS purview and makes improvements to the state hemp program. The legislation includes additional focus on wildfire training for Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters, as well as necessary FDACS oversight for the regulation of hemp extract and CBD products.
HB 1275 modernizes the fair industry registration process while updating patron and rider safety standards to reflect national standards. It also provides FDACS additional tools to investigate incidents and increases administrative fines class categories for violations that result in serious injury or death.
“This bill ensures amusement rides at fairs and carnivals are safe and fun by raising the bar on inspection and permitting requirements,” said State Senator Lauren Book on HB 1275. “Every parent is concerned about their child’s safety; this is one less worry for parents when families are able to get back to community recreation.”
“Thank you to Commissioner Nikki Fried and her legislative staff for working with my office to guide this important legislation that prioritizes the safety of fair ride and theme park goers throughout Florida,” said State Representative Sharon Pritchett on HB 1275.
Pest Control: Extends the expiration date of FDACS’ authority to use funds from the Pest Control Trust Fund to carry out duties under the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services.
Florida Forest Service: Directs the Florida Forest Service (FFS) to develop a training curriculum for wildland firefighting. Specifically, it changes training curriculum requirements to a minimum of 40 hours of structural firefighter training and a minimum of 40 hours of emergency medical training and increases the minimum number of hours of wildfire training required from 250 hours to 376 hours.
State Hemp Program: Redefines the term “hemp extract,” removing synthetic CBD from the definition as synthetic and counterfeit CBD, has been linked to numerous health issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It adds a provision stating that distributing or selling hemp, which doesn’t meet statutory requirements, is a punishable violation under the department’s authority. Prohibits the sale of hemp extract products intended for inhalation and containing hemp extract to individuals under 21 years of age. Revises “packing” to “containers” in the statute to allow retailers to sell a broader diversity of products while still ensuring that they meet labeling requirements under the law.
Amusement Rides: Modernizes the industry registration process and increases patron and rider safety standards. Updates state statutes to reflect recently revised national standards as well as streamlines and simplifies the ride permitting process. It provides the department tools to accurately determine if an incident occurred due to a rider or operator error and is limited to the ride in question or if it occurred due to a manufacture’s defect and has a broader industry impact. Lastly, it increases administrative fines in class categories for violations that result in serious injury or death.