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ADAI now accepting hemp applications

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is now accepting hemp applications from eligible growers and processors and will do so through the last day of November at 5 p.m.

Farmers interested in planting hemp crops this year will be able to utilize a new online application system at agi.alabama.gov/hempapp.

Hemp is a relatively new crop in Alabama. The opportunity for farmers to grown hemp began in 2016 when the Alabama legislature passed the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act, which tasked the ADAI with developing a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp.

Three years later, in 2019, the program launched after the Farm Bill declassified hemp as a schedule I drug and deemed the crop as an agricultural commodity.

Under the Farm Bill, hemp is defined as all parts of the plant containing less than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the “high” sensation.

“As the hemp industry continues to grow in Alabama, critical research data is being collected and evaluated,” said Alabama 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.”