Hemp expert and Green Roads co-founder Arby Barroso recently appeared on CBS 4 News Miami to discuss all things hemp including hemp-derived CBD oil, the importance of allowing the hemp industry to grow, and what the 2018 Farm Bill means for all.
Just weeks after the U.S. Senate included The Hemp Farming Act proposed by Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in its version of The 2018 Farm Bill, Barroso highlighted the importance of the bill and its implications for communities across the U.S.
“It’s a huge bill. It’s going to provide economic [growth], jobs, research, marketing, and advertising,” he said. “[Industrial hemp] is a new product; and like anything that’s new, it has all these components that come with it.”
The 2018 Farm Bill, also known as The Agricultural Act of 2018, is a large piece of legislation which is currently in conference committee, where the Senate and House must reconcile their different versions of the bill before sending it to President Trump. The Senate’s version of the bill seeks to define hemp as an agricultural commodity, gives states the power to oversee hemp production, and takes away Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) authority over hemp.
If these provisions survive the conference committee, the bill will become the most important victory in the history of the hemp industry in the United States.
“It’s really an exciting time right now,” said Barroso. Barroso also serves as the Chair of the Broward County Medical Marijuana Advisory Board which is a role in which he takes huge pride as it allows him to educate a whole community on the far-reaching benefits hemp can provide to humanity.
“We’re trying to educate the community because…the stigma is still there,” Barroso explained. “Without going out to the community and educating the Broward County School Board, the police officers that we work with, and the politicians, we’re going to stay stuck in the same vicious cycle in Florida.”
Florida currently allows medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation, but the Sunshine State is still a ways behind states like Oregon and Washington, where hemp is recognized for its wide range of medicinal and industrial uses. In Florida, as is the case in other parts of the country, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding hemp and how it differs from marijuana, which is something Barroso is working hard to change. “We should be having these types of conversations at the dinner table and at work to make sure that people understand,” he said.
Hemp is defined as any cannabis plant or derivative thereof with less than 0.3% THC by weight.
The driving force behind all of Barroso’s efforts is the ability to help people benefit from hemp and CBD, just as he did when he was struggling years ago. “I had my own issues with opiates,” he explained. “I think everybody knows somebody that’s been touched by that and CBD has, as we’ve seen with many, helped. This is scientific. There’s research behind it.” he continued. “It’s a huge impact, and I think it’s gonna help and benefit many people because it’s already helping right now.”