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Thursday's Daily Pulse

How CBD blew up faster than Florida could regulate it

In mere months, it went from headshops to coffee bars — a counter-culture extract to a latte add-on almost as mainstream as caramel syrup. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in hemp and marijuana that doesn't get users stoned. Advocates say it eases a variety of ailments, from pain to anxiety. Aside from its approved use for seizures, proof of CBD’s health benefits is murky. And so are the rules governing its production and sale. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Is Florida poised for a hemp “green rush?”
» Nikki Fried: Florida Hemp Program Would Create An 'Industrial Revolution'

Is this the end for Florida’s tourism agency?

Florida’s tourism-marketing agency is closer to having its doors closed this fall as a Senate budget proposal Tuesday matched the House’s stance to eliminate Visit Florida. Sen. Travis Hutson, a St. Augustine Republican who oversees tourism and economic-development funding, said there is no reason to push for additional money until the House takes up a Senate-approved bill (SB 178) that would extend the life of Visit Florida beyond Oct. 1. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, and CBS Miami.

Florida cattle ranchers blame booming population, urban sprawl for dying industry

Cattle ranchers are often thought of in states like Texas and Oklahoma, but Florida has its own share of ranches. But now the ranchers in the Sunshine State say their 500-year-old industry that boasts over $1 billion worth of cattle meat and dairy across the globe is being pushed out by Florida’s ever-growing population. [Source: FOX News]

Best small cities to start a business are in Florida, worst in California

A new WalletHub report highlights the benefits of small businesses in the U.S. and ranks the best small cities to start a small business. Four of the top 15 small cities to start a business in are located in Florida; the worst are in California. [Source: Florida Watchdog]

New toll roads could be a boon to billionaires. To Floridians? Who knows.

Road builders, home builders, engineers and other interests are poised to reap billions by what would be Florida’s largest expansion of toll roads in half a century. Despite the magnitude of the idea, the bill (Senate Bill 7068) is being treated like a bargaining chip by the leaders of the House and Senate in the final weeks of the Legislative session. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Layered approach protects trade secrets

Tech support teams have a saying: There are two types of computer users — those who have been hacked, and those who will be. Companies spend thousands — even millions — of dollars installing antivirus, firewalls and other measures to protect networks and the confidential or proprietary information that resides on them. What if the “hack” or data theft comes from the inside? [Sponsored report]


› BK Technologies to expand its West Melbourne wireless communications business, seeks tax break
A West Melbourne-based maker of wireless communications products is looking to expand its local operations, creating 35 jobs in the process. Those jobs will pay, on average, $73,500 a year. The company, BK Technologies Inc., said it also would buy $3 million worth of new manufacturing equipment for its facility at 7100 Technology Drive.

› Orlando tech firm lands U.S. Air Force grant to develop training simulator
An Orlando tech company has landed some seed money to develop a flight simulator prototype for the U.S. Air Force. Officials with SimBlocks, a member of the University of Central Florida’s business incubator, announced $50,000 award this week.

› Longboat Key firm charged with operating a $75 million foreign currency trading scheme
Federal regulators have charged a local investment firm and its principals with operating a $75 million foreign currency trading scheme. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims the Oasis International Group Ltd. of Longboat Key, CEO Michael J. DaCorta and others fraudulently misappropriated the majority of the funds they raised from 700 investors, and lost the rest in forex trading.

› Formula One race in downtown Miami scrapped; alternative Miami-Dade location explored
Formula One still might come to Miami-Dade. Just not downtown Miami. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Formula One, the international open-wheel racing circuit, have mutually decided to scrap a year-long effort to bring an F-1 race to downtown Miami.

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› Tampa Bay among nation's most popular rental markets
Tampa Bay is the nation's eighth most popular rental market. That's based on analysis by HotPads, a Zillow affiliate that looked at the number of searches on its site for rentals in the top 50 U.S. markets.

› SpaceX moving forward with its ISS resupply mission next week despite recent accident
SpaceX is still planning to send the cargo version of its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on Tuesday, despite an apparent explosion over the weekend during testing of Crew Dragon, the version of the vehicle that will carry astronauts.

› Algae lingering in St. Johns as growing season warms up
Algae covering the St. Johns River in Putnam County is drawing the attention of state scientists and environmental activists while competing forces try to influence state lawmakers’ choices about changing water-quality protections. “The St. Johns River here is a quarter-mile wide and it’s green all the way across,” said Sam Carr, a San Mateo resident who said the bloom is one of the most significant he’s seen in more than 50 years living near the river.

› 35-story medical skyscraper proposed for downtown Orlando
The developer of the proposed Vertical Medical City in downtown Orlando has filed an application with the city for the mixed-use medical tower in the North Quarter District, according to a report in GrowthSpotter.