Although the Florida Legislature doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday, March 5, 2019, many bills already have been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Here is an update of agriculture-, industrial-hemp- and medical-cannabis-related bills moving through the legislature.
Senate Bill 82 (SB 82), titled Vegetable Gardens, was introduced by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-District 5, in North-Central Florida). On Jan. 8, the Community Affairs Committee approved SB 82 5-0. The bill would prohibit “Prohibiting local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties except as otherwise provided by law; specifying that such regulations are void and unenforceable; etc.”
For the full text of SB 82, as filed, visit www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/82/BillText/Filed/HTML.
An identical bill was filed Jan. 2 in the House. HB 145 is also titled Vegetable Gardens. Sponsors are Elizabeth Anne Fetterhoff (R-Dist. 26) and Anthony Sabatini (R-Dist. 32).
The main goal of the bills is “to encourage the development of sustainable cultivation of vegetables and fruits at all levels of production, including for personal consumption, as an important interest of the state.”
If passed, the Vegetable Gardens bill would prohibit “a county, municipality or other political subdivision” from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties. A governmental entity would, however, be able to adopt a local ordinance that, for example, relates to “water use during drought conditions (and/or) fertilizer use.”
The bill would take effect July 1, 2019.