THE ALABAMA HEMP PROGRAM
The launch of the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research and Pilot Program was on January 22, 2019, which began the initial year that hemp could be grown legally in Alabama. As we move toward the end of our first growing season and toward the 2020 season, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will be implementing changes in the program to increase the clarity of our instructions, as well as convenience for the applicants. Perhaps the most beneficial improvement of the Alabama Hemp Program is that ADAI can now take credit card payments online. Both the mail-in application and the online application will be posted on this website prior to the upcoming annual application period.
Another change, which is required by the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act (the 2018 Farm Bill), is that every applicant must have a criminal background check conducted as part of the application process. Individuals having a drug-related felony within the past 10 years will not be eligible to participate in the Alabama Hemp Program.
ADAI is currently awaiting an interim final rule pertaining to hemp to be published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Soon after that, we will open the application period for the 2020 growing season. All necessary forms, as well as directions for completing the application process, will be posted on the ADAI website.
Important documents about hemp, including the Alabama regulations, the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, and statements from federal agencies regarding hemp can be found on the Resources page.
It is important for the public to understand that hemp is not legal to grow, process, or handle in Alabama unless the individual is licensed by ADAI in the Alabama Hemp Program.
2020 Alabama Hemp Program Update
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Hemp program launched in the beginning of 2019, after the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e. Farm Bill) declassified hemp as a schedule 1 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.
Currently, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is awaiting an interim final rule to be published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pertaining to hemp. Because USDA has not yet issued interim rules, we must, unfortunately, delay the opening of the application period beyond Monday, September 23, 2019.
Upon the release and review of the interim final hemp rule, ADAI will open the application period. The anticipated dates for accepting hemp applications for the 2020 Hemp Program will be October 7, 2019 through November 14, 2019. Hemp applications will be open to growers, processors/handlers, and universities. For more information and updates, please visit: http://agi.alabama.gov/industrial-hemp.