A state lengthy linked to oranges seems to be to a profitable future — with hemp

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The orange bushes within the Corkscrew grove nonetheless produce fruit, although not almost as a lot as they did only a decade in the past. Due to hurricanes and pathogens, many are broken and dying. Branches are spindly, leaves curled and yellowing.

“There was a time not too way back that these bushes had been so full and inexperienced, you can hardly see by means of them,” Michael Sparks tells Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner, as they survey the injury beneath a blazing scorching solar.

When Sparks seems to be on the confused grove, he sees an business preventing for survival. But Fried sees one thing else: alternative. And never simply right here however throughout Florida, wherever nature and illness have taken a critical toll on crops and commodities.

Her answer is hemp. “Hemp may also help,” Fried says.

In a state inextricably linked to the orange — the fruit that adorns its license plates and the juice that it affords guests at welcome facilities — such prophecy would possibly as soon as have been thought of heresy. However Fried gained workplace final yr partly due to her pro-pot marketing campaign. Touting the advantages of hemp and marijuana for private well being in addition to Florida’s economic system, the lawyer-lobbyist narrowly defeated a seventh-generation farmer and have become the primary elected feminine commissioner of agriculture and client companies since Florida grew to become a state in 1845. [Read More @  The Washington Post]



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