Industrial Hemp

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:

The 2020 Hemp Program Registration period for Growers, Processors/Handlers, and Universities will run from October 7, 2019 to November 14, 2019. All applications must be post marked no later than November 14, 2019. You must submit a Criminal Background Check report along with your application (or submit it no later than November 25) and the $200 non-refundable application fee. Make the check payable to ADAI or AL Dept of Agriculture & Industries. If you do not submit the required Criminal Background report, check, or fully complete the application, your submitted documents will be returned to you, and could delay or prevent your application being approved.

Applications will be posted on the website prior to the opening of the annual application period of October 7,2019.

ALL 2020 CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS SHOULD BE OBTAINED BETWEEN OCTOBER 7, 2019 and November 14, 2019 [Background Reports requested from ALEA later in October must be submitted to ADAI no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 25, 2019]

If you have been a resident of the state of Alabama for five (5) years or more, please follow the In-State Criminal Background document.

If you have been a resident of the state of Alabama for less than 5 years, please follow the Out-of-State Criminal Background document for the state you previously resided in.

If you are currently a resident in another state, please follow the Out-of-State Criminal Background document for the state you reside in.


The applications are designed to provide sufficient instructions for completion by any individual who would be prepared to participate in the industrial hemp research pilot program. The applications include a broad understanding of the program, but applicants should read the  regulations for complete details.  The regulations can be found under “Resources” on the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) website industrial hemp program page.

Please make sure to fully review all application instructions and regulations prior to contacting hemp staff with questions.  All applicants for grower and processor permits, including university researchers, should fully understand the administrative regulations.

ADAI is not in the position to offer direct consultation on completing a license application or to educate individuals about the production of industrial hemp. 

All costs associated with the research are the responsibility of the license holder, including both profits and loss. There are no sources of funding from ADAI to cover any aspect of research projects. Potential applicants should understand that at the present time it is likely that they may suffer a loss on the industrial hemp crop. Limited production knowledge combined with an uncertain federal regulatory environment and unstable pricing creates significant risk for the participant. The focus of this program is the collection of research data and learning through experience.

Applicants should understand that there is an inherent risk associated with participation in a research program focusing on a new crop. The program participant bears sole responsibility for financial or other losses that may result from participation in ADAI’s industrial hemp research pilot program.  ADAI is not responsible for reimbursing or compensating program participants for any loss resulting from their involvement with ADAI’s program, and program participants waive any right to seek compensation for the value of such losses.