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Alabama accepting hemp-growing, processing applications starting Tuesday

The last day to apply for an industrial hemp license is Nov. 29.

Scientist observing dry CBD hemp plants by the sorting machine in factory. (STOCK)

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 12, Alabama hemp growers, those who process and handle hemp and universities can apply for an industrial hemp license from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. 

“This is the department’s fourth 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,” said Rick Pate, commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, in a statement. 

The Alabama Legislature in 2016 passed the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act, which required the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to set up a licensing and inspection program for industrial hemp production. 

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 declassified hemp as a schedule I drug and deemed hemp as an agriculture commodity, and defined hemp as the parts of the marijuana plant that contain less than 0.3 percent of THC. 

He industrial hemp industry can produce  essential oils from CBD, as well as grain and fiber products 

In the 2019 pilot program Alabama granted 152 hemp growers, 59 processors and five universities, according to In 2020 the state granted 422 licensed growers, but the number fell to 300 by the end of 2020, according to WSFA 12

Those who wish to apply must do so online through the Kelly Registration System at starting Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 at 8 a.m. The final day to apply is Nov. 29, 2021 by 5.p.m.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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