PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Benjamin Boyce is in the process of opening a hemp business off Thomas Drive called Kandy Boy. 

Hemp is different than marijuana. Hemp is considered any product that has 0.3% or less Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the substance that’s primarily responsible for the effects of marijuana on a person’s mental state, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Hemp is currently sold over the counter to anyone over the age of 21. 

Boyce plans to feature hemp candy and beverages in his store. 

“Our gummies are currently 15 milligrams per gummy, but they’re still under point 3 percent, which is what is allowed,” Boyce said. 

Allowed under current law.

Boyce is worried about a proposal that he claims will put him out of business before he can even get established.

“This new bill will say that we can only have half an mg per gummy, which would mean that a consumer would have to eat 75 packs of our gummy,” Boyce said. 

To get anything stronger, users would need a doctor’s order for one of the state’s medical marijuana cards.

James Fowler who has a marijuana prescription to treat anxiety also uses hemp.

He said if the bill became law, it would cause problems for a lot of people. 

“I think it’d be really weird,” Fowler said. “And a lot of them just change the laws and change percentages and step on people when everybody’s already been used to it for so long. And I think it just messed people up.”

Boyce said he’s invested thousands into his store which is located next to Moby Dick on Thomas Drive. 

“I just bought this for $100,000,” Boyce said. “Just to buy this guy out. And we just redecorated the deck that’s $25,000, over $50,000 in inventory, and probably another $25,000 and marketing.”

If the law passes, Boyce said he’d be forced to close. 

“Uh, file bankruptcy. You know, we took out lots of loans, and what else can I do?” Boyce said.

Boyce said he’s not alone, and claims the law would have a ripple effect throughout the industry. 

“Manufacturing costs would be too high,” Boyce said. “And it’s going to put me and thousands of other shops in Florida out of business. 75 percent of our sales is these THC products that we’ve been legally allowed to sell for five years.”

As of Thursday, the bill is still tied-up in committee.

If the governor signs the bill, it would become law on July 1st.