In February 2019, the state of Florida announced the name of its first director of cannabis, who will be formally responsible for the growth of the hemp industry for the Department of Agriculture for the state. The Agriculture Commissioner of Florida, Nikki Fried announced that she had hired the services of Holly Bell for regulating the cannabis sector and promoting hemp cultivation. Holly Bell was earlier running a consultancy service helping hemp related businesses in the city of Nashville in the state of Tennessee. Bell also has some prior experience in banking before she was elected and appointed to her position as Agriculture Commissioner in Florida, Nikki Fried was a marijuana lobbyist who campaigned to make it easier for patients to access medical marijuana. She also wanted to expand the usage of industrial hemp. Fried is the only Democrat in the state cabinet. In Florida, the office of Medical Marijuana is part of the department of health and regulates the use of cannabis. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the Domestic Marijuana eradication program, This has to ensures that citizens do not grow any marijuana at home through the office for enforcing agricultural law, working closely with the law enforcement agencies.
On its website, the department of agriculture claims that its experts in food, are required to monitor the processing of marijuana which is to be used for human consumption. Voters in Florida had approved the use of medical marijuana in the year 2016 with 71 percent of the voters approving. Yet the lawmakers in Florida have been criticized for the way this amendment to the constitution has been implemented. One of the reasons could be that more than two years later, the department of health in Florida has not approved of any edible cannabis product. It is illegal to smoke medical cannabis in Florida.
Fried has declared that her main priority at presenting is increasing the cultivation of hemp used for cannabis so that more processed cannabis is available in the state. The new cannabis director will be in charge of all the different aspects of the program for medical marijuana. Earlier the Agriculture department was handling this program. Fried was interested in increasing the cultivation of hemp in Florida, ensure that farmers make it one of their main crops. She also wanted rules to be made regarding hemp cultivation in the state, which was in accordance with the Farm bill which was passed in the year 2018.