Florida CAN

Ethel Rowland (left), president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network (Florida CAN), explains the benefits of hemp to Hugh and Linda Conaghan of Port St. Lucie. / J.D. Vivian

The Florida Cannabis Action Network has launched a new website, www.FLHemp.org, in order to advance its Florida Hemp Initiative (FHI).

One of the first major pushes of Florida CAN’s FHI has already begun, even before the state Legislature begins its 2017 session, according to Jodi James, executive director of Florida CAN.

“We’re working on sample legislation that will allow Florida to take its place as a leader in cannabis/hemp research,” she said in an email to Florida Food & Farm.

Florida CAN’s recent activities include an Oct. 27 visit to the Range Cattle & Research Center in Ona, Fla. — part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The center “serves the cattle ranchers of Florida,” James wrote. “We will be pushing the research center to design studies that include hemp. Someday soon, Florida cattle could be grazing on hemp.”

“Hemp-house” builder is on board with Florida CAN

At the Florida Cannabis Action Network’s Executive Committee meeting on Oct. 23, Ethel Rowland, president of Florida CAN, created the Hemp Initiative Committee and named Bob Clayton as its chairman.

Clayton, of Tarpon Springs, built Florida’s first home of “hempcrete” — a material with the strength of concrete but much lighter.

One major goal of the new Hemp Initiative is education, said Ethel Rowland, president of Florida CAN since June.

“We want to let farmers, ranchers and consumers know the benefits of hemp. Without their support, nothing will happen,” the Fort Pierce resident said.