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Ag & Industries News

Applications Now Available for Pilot Industrial Hemp Production

Jan 22, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (January 22, 2019) -- The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI) is now accepting applications from eligible producers, farmers, and universities interested in growing industrial hemp.  ADAI is also accepting applications from prospective industrial hemp processors.

In 2016, the Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act, Section 2-8-380 Code of Alabama 1975, tasking the Department with the development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp.  As provided in Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project.

Industrial Hemp is Cannabis sativa L., the same plant species as marijuana.  However, industrial hemp has significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and is distinguished by its use and chemical makeup.  Presently, in Alabama the cultivation and possession of marijuana is prohibited, and both the medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana are illegal. 

“The pilot program will develop critical research data on industrial hemp production”, said Commissioner Rick Pate.  “The Department’s objective is to establish a strong research pilot program under the 2014 Farm Bill provisions, which will allow producers to consider industrial hemp as a future alternative crop.” 

You can download an application for completion at:

www.agi.alabama.gov/s/industrial-hemp

Please complete the application and submit it, along with the application fee by mail to:

Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries
Industrial Hemp Program
Attn: Christel Stewart
1445 Federal Drive
Montgomery, AL 36107

The Department will receive applications until February 22, 2019.

The Department is reminding prospective applicants that the pilot program will be administered under the 2014 Farm Bill provision for industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill declassifies hemp as a Schedule 1 drug. It is now deemed an agricultural commodity and is no longer classified as a controlled substance.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin drafting procedural rules for industrial hemp once the partial federal government shutdown ends.  The Department will work in consultation with the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office, and law enforcement agencies to create a plan of action for the provisions of industrial hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill during this year.  

For more information please visit: www.agi.alabama.gov/s/industrial-hemp

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