Libertarian Party of Florida Opposes Restrictive Hemp Bill SB 1698/HB 1613

Tallahassee, FL – February 20, 2024. The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) voices strong opposition to the proposed Florida Food and Hemp Products Bill (SB 1698/HB 1613), which introduces unnecessary and restrictive regulations on the sale and consumption of hemp products. This legislation, led by the Republican-majority legislature, significantly undermines individual liberties, particularly concerning healthcare and personal choice.


The bill seeks to reclassify hemp, moving it away from its current categorization alongside vitamin supplements, effectively halting the sale of over-the-counter CBD products. This move not only undermines affordable alternatives to the CBD products available at a limited number of state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries, but it also continues a concerning legislative trend. Last year, legislators imposed arbitrary caps on medical cannabis products and introduced rigorous packaging requirements—actions that the LPF views as detrimental to consumer choice, beneficial to monopolistic market practices, and adverse to a competitive and free market environment. The proposed restrictions are wholly unwarranted and pose a significant threat to numerous small businesses.


"Hemp is a naturally occurring plant, not deemed illegal by the federal government, and has served as a medicinal resource for thousands of years," said Josh Hlavka, Chair of the LPF. "We firmly oppose the criminalization of plant-based medicines and the establishment of barriers to natural, beneficial treatments."


The LPF is also concerned that the bill paves the way for a state-protected cartel, restricting market access to select businesses and denying consumers affordable, safe cannabinoid products known to aid various health conditions.


In solidarity with the Florida Cannabis Action Network (FLCAN), the LPF supports efforts to represent over 800,000 medical cannabis patients and more than a million hemp CBD users in Florida. The recent release of FLCAN's white paper challenges the "junk science" behind the legislation and calls for a more informed legislative process based on scientific evidence and consultation with healthcare professionals.


The LPF urges an urgent reconsideration of the bill's provisions to eliminate unnecessary restrictions, advocating for a market-driven approach to product safety and quality. "Our commitment remains with the rights of individuals to make their healthcare decisions, free from overbearing government mandates," affirms the LPF.


The LPF invites further dialogue on this critical issue and stands ready to support policies that uphold the values of liberty, personal responsibility, and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.


For more information about the FLCAN's efforts and to access the white paper, please visit FLCAN's website.


Media Contact:

Matt Johnson

[email protected]


About the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF):

The LPF is the third-largest political party in the state of Florida, defending freedom since 1987. We  promote free markets, civil liberties, and peace. Learn more at



Lisa Gansky


Lisa Gansky, LPF Secretary, Columbia MBA. Author of "Amplify Your Impact: Generative AI for Volunteers & Activists."