TALLAHASSEE - Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling Florida's congressional delegation, including Vern Buchanan, to keep a cannabis provision in the America COMPETES Act.

Five Florida representatives are on the America COMPETES conference committee. The bill's goal is to revitalize American research and manufacturing, especially to boost shortages in semiconductor chips.

Fried wants the Florida delegation on this committee to keep a cannabis banking provision in the bill.

The provision protects financial institutions that provide banking services to Florida cannabis businesses, which are currently forced to operate cash-only operations.

The reason? Credit and debit transactions are federally regulated. Since marijuana is not legal federally, most dispensaries operate as cash-only to avoid any conflict between state and federal law.