Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried addressed a room full of reporters Wednesday at the Associated Press' annual pre-legislative session gathering, taking questions on everything from school breakfast to the identity of her new cannabis director. (She didn't disclose, but hinted at an impending announcement).
In her afternoon speech, the commissioner also rolled out a recital of new additions to the department. Here are some of the key adds she announced:
A medical marijuana committee that would work to suggest program changes and new initiatives. Fried said an example of such initiative is a patient portal her department hopes to launch, which would gather patient complaints and feedback about their experiences at dispensaries across the state.
- A hemp advisory committee, whose members will work to harness the potential of hemp growth and production as an alternative crop for Florida's farmers.
An agricultural innovation committee that would bring in international agriculture experts from nations like Israel and Canada to come with ideas more environmentally-conscious technology.
New positions in the department, including a Veterans Affairs director, LGBTQ director and director of water policy.