Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday vetoed legislation that sought to ban products containing hemp-derived delta-8 THC and other intoxicating cannabinoids, CBS News reports.

Voters will decide later this year whether Florida will legalize adult-use Cannabis — and the governor’s recent veto is thought to be a strategic effort that will protect the entrepreneurs and companies participating in the state’s booming hemp consumables industry, and to help prop up a major Cannabis industry competitor, which he publicly opposes.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of Florida’s economy. While Senate Bill 1698’s goals are commendable, the bill would, in fact, impose debilitating regulatory burdens on small businesses and almost certainly fail to achieve its purposes. — Gov. DeSantis, in his veto statement

The Florida Healthy Alternatives Association said in a statement, “The Legislature heard our concerns, but didn’t fully appreciate the impact of their legislation. Governor DeSantis understands that everyday Floridians rely on hemp and CBD products to stay away from harmful and addictive medications and that thousands of Floridians have built local businesses to serve this critical need.”

Meanwhile, the bill’s primary sponsor state Sen. Colleen Burton told CBS News, “As prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1698, related to food and hemp products, it is very disappointing this legislation was vetoed.”

The governor was reported last month to be considering a veto for the proposal, which was passed unanimously in the Senate and by a 64-48 split House during the final days of the legislative session, the report said.

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