Reformed Hemp Product Laws Better Protect Kids
Recently passed Florida state legislation better protects Hillsborough County youth from chips, cereals, candies, and treats containing hemp-derived products that include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) such as delta-8. These updated laws address snack packaging that looks nearly identical to those most popular with children, the lack of age requirements for purchase, and the marketing of these products.
Updates to Florida legislation
Florida Senate Bill 1676 provides updated guidelines for the sale of hemp-derived food products, including:
- Setting an age requirement of 21 for purchase of snacks and vaping products
- Packaging and labeling requirements that ensure they are not attractive to children
- Advertising regulations that also discourage marketing or advertising to target children
THC products and children
According to the Florida Poison Information Center, nearly 1,000 children were exposed to high-potency hemp products in Florida last year, with many of these cases requiring medical care and/or hospitalization. A roundtable discussion held on Aug. 16 at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) to discuss efforts to protect children from these products noted that TGH has treated pediatric patients who have unintentionally ingested these products that were disguised as candy or other familiar snacks.
Side effects of THC ingestion may include hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, or loss of consciousness. If you believe that a child in your care has ingested a food product containing hemp products, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room. The Florida Poison Information Center provides free, confidential help with poisoning emergencies and is available for questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-222-1222.
Regulation in Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County Code Enforcement continues to work with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other community partners to educate local retailers about new state requirements for sale of ingestible hemp and vaping products and encourage that the display be out of reach of children.
To report concerns about a retailer who sells snacks containing hemp-derived products, contact:
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Hillsborough County Code Enforcement, Regulatory Compliance
- - Report online or email RegComp@HCFLGov.net