Florida inspection busts retailers illegally selling over 68,000 hemp extract products targeting children

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted the largest inspection ever targeting retailers illegally selling hemp extract products that appeal to children. During this week-long inspection, termed Operation Kandy Krush, investigators went into 475 food establishments and discovered 68,689 hemp extract products were illegally being sold, including products that contained high potency THC.

Thanks to the new Florida law that took effect on July 1st, retailers are now prohibited from selling hemp extract products in ways that appeal to children. This law was developed in response to a proliferation of hemp derived products, such as Delta-8, that became widely available in response to the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. These products have consequently led to poisonings, particularly in children.

Save Our Society From Drugs (SOS) was a co-host and participant in Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Advocacy Day in Tallahassee this legislative session where restricting access to hemp-derived products was a prevention priority. As a result of these advocacy efforts, Commissioner Simpson, Senator Barton, and Representative Robinson championed SB 1676, a legislative effort to further regulate hemp-derived products. The new law aims to protect consumers and minors through age requirements for purchases, prohibiting marketing that appeals to children, requiring safe container packaging, and holding hemp products to same standards as food products.

The new law defines “attractive to children” as:

“manufactured in the shape of humans, cartoons, or animals; manufactured in a form that  bears any reasonable resemblance to an existing candy product that is familiar to the public as a widely distributed, branded food product such that a product could be mistaken for the branded product, especially by children; or containing any color additives.”

In a press release on this matter, Commissioner Wilton Simpson states:

“As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding Florida’s children and consumers, we launched 'Operation Kandy Krush,' Florida's most extensive hemp inspection sweep ever. Today, we're proud to announce the results, as we've uncovered nearly 70,000 hemp products — including euphoric, high-potency THC products — specifically designed to appeal to children, a blatant violation of Florida Law. After the Florida Legislature worked this year to reform Florida’s hemp laws, this operation now sends a clear message that illegal and unsafe hemp products have no place in our state, and we will continue diligently enforcing the law to keep our communities safe.”

This is a much-needed step toward keeping these dangerous products away from our youth.

Interested in learning more about Delta-8? Click here to access Drug Free America Foundation’s What to Know About Delta-8. View the press release and new FL law in the reference section below.