A guide for CBD entrepreneurs in the Sunshine State.

If you’re looking to start a CBD business in Florida, where FDA-approved CBD products are legal, read on! We’re filling you in on the basics, including an overview of state regulations, licenses and permits, and how much it can cost to get your CBD business off the ground.

Florida’s CBD laws

Understanding Florida’s hemp regulations is vital! CBD businesses must fully comply with state and federal laws to operate full-steam ahead.

Here’s the deal: Back in 2014, Florida approved the legalization of medical cannabis with low THC content for registered patients. Fast forward to the Farm Bill of 2018—more specific laws were introduced, making hemp products with no more than 0.3% THC federally legal. Like many US states, Florida requires that all hemp-derived products undergo third-party lab testing to verify they don’t surpass the THC threshold. Businesses also need certain permits and licenses, which we’ll cover next!

How do I start a CBD business in Florida?

Now that you’re aware of state regulations, it’s time to get your business plan in order. First thing’s first—you must absolutely positively get certified to sell CBD. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has this handy chart to help you determine which hemp certifications are necessary, and how to apply. These include: 

  • Hemp food establishment permit: All businesses that sell, distribute, manufacture, store or process any type of CBD product, whether ingestible or smokeable, has to obtain this permit.
  • Cultivation license: If you’re planning on growing your own hemp for sale or distribution, this license is also mandatory.
  • Certificate of authenticity: Products need to be tested by a certified lab to prove they don’t contain more than 0.3% THC. To find one, check out the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s directory.

Once you’re officially compliant, the fun part begins—mapping out your marketing plan, and most importantly, your budget.

How much it costs to launch a CBD business in Florida

In 2019, Florida’s CBD sales hit $488 million, and might even reach $2.4 billion by 2025. There’s a great opportunity to get in the game—and it all starts with figuring out the costs associated with launching a CBD company.

Every business is different, but fact is, there are many fees: legal, testing, marketing, permits and licenses, to name a few. Some say a good minimum investment is $10,000, but there isn’t a standard amount; it depends on several factors, like the types of CBD products you plan to sell (flowers, extracts, and so on), and how you’ll source them.

When it comes to state-specific expenses, you won’t necessarily be breaking the bank in Florida. Every CBD business must pay $650 per year for a hemp permit; and if you’re required to obtain additional accreditation, the costs are also relatively affordable. In fact, a cultivation license is entirely free of charge! Lastly, there’s your certificate of analysis. This can run you a minimum of $75 per sample.

Start your CBD business with oHHo

If you’d like to dip your toes into the CBD industry, join oHHo’s Community Builder collective to start your business anywhere in the United States. You can earn money and rewards, while gaining a wealth of knowledge. Apply here!