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Florida Operation “Kandy Krush” Confiscates 70,000 Hemp Products

Florida has been cracking down on cannabis and hemp products in the last few years, but an operation called “Kandy Krush” has recently uncovered the largest number of deemed illegal products yet, according to Florida law.

Operation “Kandy Krush” was a statewide inspection sweep conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that targeted food establishments selling products containing hemp extracts. The purpose of the sweep was to uncover hemp products that were attractive and/or marketed to children, as Florida Law prohibits these.

The week-long operation included inspections of more than 475 food establishments across 37 counties and uncovered 68,689 packages of hemp extract products – including high-potency THC products – specifically targeting children, says the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Impact on Hemp Products in Florida

The Florida Legislature pushed the recent results of Operation Kandy Krush in hopes of reforming hemp laws in what they believed would protect children and consumers from dangerous products.

During the legislative session in 2023, Commissioner Simpson worked with Senator Colleen Burton and Representative Will Robinson Jr. to enact new legislation that would restrict the sale of hemp extract products, such as delta-8, to minors, in addition to requiring that all products sold in Florida are packaged safely and held to the same health and safety standards as other food products.

The bill also defines “attractive to children” to mean 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.

These measures were put in place by the government of Florida they say to better protect Florida’s minors from unknowingly consuming dangerous edible products and ensure consumer safety through stricter regulations. Commissioner Simpson released a statement saying, “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.”

Ignoring Similar Behaviors in Other Industries

Although the Florida government has recently taken measures to crack down on hemp extract products targeting children, many are questioning why they have chosen to target this particular industry when numerous other industries engage in similar behavior.

Alcohol and tobacco industries, for example, often place their products in colorful packaging or incorporate appealing designs that could entice young people. In addition, many alcohol and tobacco products are marketed on television or other media outlets in ways that could be considered attractive to minors.

This decision to target hemp extract products specifically has raised questions about the government’s priorities regarding protecting children from potentially dangerous substances.

The lack of similar regulations for other industries, such as alcohol and tobacco, suggests that the Florida government needs to be made aware of the potential risks these different industries pose or is simply choosing to prioritize one industry over another.

The decision to target hemp and cannabis extract products in this way could have long-term implications for public opinion towards cannabis as a whole, as it may lead some individuals to view the industry negatively and associate it with recklessness and irresponsibility.

The recent actions taken by the Florida government to target hemp extract products illustrate the need for better education and public awareness about cannabis and hemp products.

While it is vital for governments to protect children from potentially dangerous products, they also have a responsibility to ensure that consumers are adequately informed about these products so that they can make educated decisions about what is safe and suitable for them.

Compared to other substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, cannabis has been proven to be a much healthier and safer option for adults. It is the right of individuals to choose cannabis if they so wish, and governments must educate people about the benefits of using cannabis in order to ensure that they can make informed decisions.

As more states move towards legalizing hemp and cannabis products, they must remain cannabis-friendly and take the necessary steps to ensure that consumers are adequately informed about product safety.


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