90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Fluent Cannabis CEO Jose Hidalgo On CBD, Vaping Deaths And Recreational Cannabis Amendment

Play Audio

There’s a CBD boom happening in the U.S. — and Florida medical marijuana companies are getting in on it.

U.S. consumers spent $624 million in 2018 on CBD products in retail stores, and that number is expected to grow to more than $12 billion by 2024.

But consumers spent another $16 million on CBD products from pharmacies. That’s according to the most recent State of Legal Cannabis report from Arcview Market Research.

Jose Hidalgo, the founder and CEO of Fluent Cannabis Care, a Florida medical marijuana company, tells 90.7’s Abe Aboraya his company is already selling over-the-counter CBD products.

“You can advertise, but we cannot advertise medical cannabis,” Hidalgo says. “So it’s a way for us to get in front of the consumer, bring in some education and explain to them what are the differences between the two. And also, you have to make sure that not all these products are created equal.”

The 2018 farm bill clarified that it was legal to grow hemp as long as it has less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Hidalgo also talks about the state of CBD and medical marijuana in Florida in light of the recent deaths associated with vaping.

Nationwide, 39 people have died from vaping associated lung industries – mostly from vaping THC products. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes black market products are playing a significant role in the outbreak, and has found evidence of vitamin E acetate as a “potential chemical of concern” found in biologic samples from patients with lung injuries.

But the e-cigarrette injuries don’t seem to be hurting Florida’s medical marijuana industry.

More than 20,000 Floridians have received medical marijuana cards since September when the CDC first announced an outbreak of severe lung injuries associated with vaping.

But figures released by the state show patients are using less traditional medical marijuana – which includes vaping – and more whole flower medical marijuana in smokable form.

“I get asked often (if) you have you seen a decline of your own vape sales, vape products,” Hidalgo says. “And we haven’t.”

It’s not clear if current medical marijuana patients are switching away from vaping, or if people are leaving the black market, or both.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Previous Health Reporter