The Florida Hemp Council (FLHC), a nonprofit organization founded in 2019 to provide structure, networking and services to the hemp industry in Florida, has recently welcomed five new board members. They are Brian Dickerson of Star Manufacturing Hemp; Christian Graubard of Nutrition Formulators Inc.; Sarah Groves of Southeastern Grocers, Inc.; Hussein Rakine of Just CBD; and Durée Ross of Durée & Company, Inc.
FLHC’s mission is to create a thriving ecosystem aimed at catapulting the Florida hemp industry to the forefront as leaders in hemp and hemp product production. It represents all channels of the state’s economic engine, from farmers to retailers and everyone in between, and helps everyone to stay connected to each other. It promotes the sound development for the emerging hemp industry. FLHC members are privy to vibrant programs which enhance their professional growth.
FLHC’s goals are to keep licensing fees low, hold manufacturers to testing standards, make sure all consumer disclosures are properly labeled, promote continued research, help guide farmers so they are not taken advantage of for their land by untrusted seed sellers, and promote Florida manufacturing through state and local opportunities.
Brian Dickerson will lead the Star Manufacturing team in Florida with the opening of a processing facility in Labelle, Florida as of spring 2020. Dickerson is a partner with the law firm of FisherBroyles, where he represents pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and health care practices. He also represents private label and OTC manufacturers related to the cannabis industry, and the state and federal regulatory landscape pertaining to the Federal Drug Administration, and United States Department of Agriculture. He has represented cultivators and processors in multiple states. In addition, he is the owner of Grassy Run Ranch, a cattle ranch in Labelle.
Raised in his family business, Nutrition Formulators Inc., which his father founded two decades ago, Christian Graubard has leveraged the company’s experience and track record to shape what is now widely considered one of the most reputable CBD manufacturers in the nation. A private label manufacturer located in Miramar, Florida, Nutrition Formulators Inc. has manufactured products for some of the largest supplement brands in the U.S., and even the U.S. military. He is honored to manufacture for the largest CBD companies in the nation. Graubard is a graduate of Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Sarah Groves is a category manager at Southeastern Grocers, Inc.; parent company and home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. It is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the U.S. Southeastern Grocers, Inc. grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serve communities throughout the seven southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Hussein Rakine is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of JUST CBD. Mr. Rakine is an innovative entrepreneur with a business background in retail and distribution. Prior to JUST CBD, Mr. Rakine launched Speedy Distribution, one of the nation’s leading wholesalers of popular smoke and vape products, and also opened World of Smoke & Vape, a chain of modern retail smoke and vape shops spanning multiple states. Through Hussein’s intimate network of retailers and end consumers, he was early to identify the emerging trends and commercial potential of a premium CBD brand. In 2017, he launched JUST CBD and strategically placed an emphasis to fill an important void many CBD companies were ignoring at the time, quality and variety. Through U.S. grown ingredients, continuous innovation and transparency, JUST CBD became one of the most recognized brands in the industry with 280+ unique SKUs servicing retailers in markets across the nation.
Durée Ross, president and founder of Fort Lauderdale and Aspen public relations, marketing and special events company Durée & Company, is a pioneer in her adaption of emerging industries, including CBD. Her strategic public relations work in the space has resulted in a growing list of clients, from processing facilities to consumer products sold in big box retailers. Through a watchful eye on local and federal legislation, a strong pulse on key expos and leadership conferences and proven relationships with influencers and thought leaders, Ross understands how to navigate the rapidly-growing cannabis industry to achieve client goals. Ross, an award-winning entrepreneur, founded Durée & Company in 1999 at the age of 24.
“We are pleased to see both the expansion and diversity of our board,” said Jeff Greene, Co-Founder and Director of Business Development of the Council. “We are honored to have such a committed and talented representation of the industry. The combined contributions of these new board members will set us up for a very successful 2020 and beyond.”
About The Florida Hemp Council: The Florida Hemp Council was created to provide structure, networking and services to the hemp industry in Florida. A 501c6 nonprofit trade organization, The Florida Hemp Council works collectively to advance the Florida Hemp industry through education, resources and industry oversight. Its office is located at 4101 SW 47th Ave., Ste 106, Davie, FL 33314. For more information, visit www.TheFLHC.org or call 833-4FL-HEMP.