Florida Ag Commissioner Details Her Cannabis Industry Stake

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is facing criticism for late filing a personal financial report which details her six-figure stake in a Florida medical cannabis company.

Full story after the jump.

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) released a financial report this week as part of her gubernatorial election bid, the Miami Herald reports. Fried, who is the state’s only Democrat elected official, filed the disclosure form on Tuesday but the report’s deadline was July 1. As Agriculture Commissioner, Fried helps manage Florida’s medical cannabis program and she previously worked as an industry consultant through a firm called Igniting Florida.

She announced her candidacy for the governor’s office in June but faced early scrutiny after issuing some adjustments to a 2018 financial report, which showed that her consulting earnings from that year were about five times what was first reported. Fried also owns an approximately $130,000 stake in the licensed medical cannabis company Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc.

Harvest, however, is set to be acquired by Florida’s largest cannabis brand Trulieve in a massive $2 billion deal—and just yesterday, Harvest announced the $55-million-sale of its own license to Planet 13, a multi-state operator with dispensaries in Nevada and California.

Following the latest report, she has faced many GOP criticisms over a perceived lack of transparency but Fried said on Wednesday that the delay was for opposite reasons.

“We were just trying to be as transparent and they were just not used to that. We make sure when we found an error that we’re correcting it; we want to be as transparent and open with the public as possible.” — Fried, in a statement

Fried, who initially tried to hide her Harvest connections as Ag Commissioner, has promised to sell her cannabis industry assets if she is elected to be Florida‘s governor.

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