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2021 applications for growing and processing industrial hemp in Alabama are now open

If you want to grow industrial hemp in Alabama in 2021, you need to apply for a license by November 30, 2020.
Credit: kostrez - stock.adobe.com
Flour hemp in a wooden spoon, hemp seed in a bag and on the table, hemp oil in a glass jar, hemp leaves on the background of wooden boards

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — If you plan to grow or process industrial hemp in Alabama, applications for licenses are available through November 30.

Eligible growers and processors/handlers can apply to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) using a new online application system, available here. Applications are due by 5:00 CST on November 30,

According to ADAI, in 2016, the Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act, tasking ADAI with the development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp. The program launched in 2019, after The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e. Farm Bill) declassified hemp as a schedule I drug and deemed hemp as an agriculture commodity. This legislation defines hemp as all parts of the plant containing less than 0.3% THC, including derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids.

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“As the hemp industry continues to grow in Alabama, critical research data is being collected and evaluated,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate.  “This is the department’s third year to administer the hemp program. It has always been our goal to manage the program in a fair and timely manner to benefit Alabama farmers and hemp producers and develop industrial hemp as an alternative crop.” 

The applications are for non-academic growers and processors only. The 2021 university/college affiliation license application information will be available before the first week in November 2020.

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