2018 Agriculture Commissioner’s Race

Florida democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is making medical marijuana a key part of her platform. The South Florida lobbyist is calling for federal legislation and vowing to expand the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Florida's Agriculture Commissioner isn't just the chief champion of oranges, avocadoes and other products sprouting from soil in the Sunshine State. The post also is responsible for gun licenses, consumer complaints and has a role to play in the restoration of felon rights -assuming Amendment 4 fails to get at least 60 percent support in November.

It is a statewide elected position with several candidates vying for their party's nomination in the primary election of Aug. 28. 

Four Republicans --- two lawmakers, a former lawmaker and a palm-tree farmer --- are competing to replace Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who is term-limited in the Cabinet office and running for governor.

Florida’s top leadership offices are up for grabs this year and one of the largest jobs is overseeing the state’s multi-billion dollar agriculture and consumer services industries. There are seven candidates vying to succeed Adam Putnam as Agriculture Commissioner. Five of them recently appeared before several South Florida editorial boards to make their cases to voters. 

gun at gun range
Peretz Partensky via Flickr

State Sen. Denise Grimsley would immediately order a “full audit” of Florida’s concealed-weapons licensing process, as well as examine the management structure of the program, if she is elected agriculture commissioner.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Democrat Nikki Fried about her campaign and the issues she is focusing on, which include the environment, medical marijuana and gun background checks (01:17).

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Maintaining Florida’s water supply, while balancing the growing needs of residents, farmers, tourists and businesses, is a priority for the candidates seeking to replace Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.