By Matthew Kassel
Fried, who worked as a medical marijuana lobbyist before ascending to her current role, believes the cannabis plant is the “future of agriculture” for the state of Florida. Israel, Fried said, has been a leader in marijuana research for years, and on the trip she made an effort to glean some wisdom from local experts.
“She’s helped farmers understand the legality around growing industrial hemp,” said Ron Klein, the former Florida congressman who chairs the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
Klein accompanied Fried on the trip to Israel and helped set up a number of meetings. “She feels very connected to Israel,” he told JI. “She just felt this was a win-win by connecting something she loves on both sides — her love of the State of Israel and Judaism and her ability to do her job as agricultural commissioner.”