October is unusually green in Alabama as hemp growing licenses become available
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
October is usually the month associated with browning leaves and receding plant life, but in Alabama, this month marks a surge of green. Earlier this week, The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) launched the 2022 application for the state's industrial hemp licenses.
In 2016, ADAI began the development of the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program—a project spurred the passage of legislation intended to increase the state's competitiveness in the agricultural marketplace. With the passage 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, commonly known as the "Farm Bill," Alabama was able to give it's hemp project the final green light. Prior to the Farm Bill's passage, hemp was considered a Schedule I drug. Now, the plant is considered an agricultural commodity provided that hemp-classified plants and products contain less than 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program officially launched and began accepting hemp license applications in 2019.
Rick Pate (R-AL), the state's Agriculture and Industries Commissioner, celebrated the application launch earlier this week and encouraged Alabama's hemp growers, hemp processors, and institutions of higher learning to apply for the newly available licenses.
“This is the department’s fourth year to administer the hemp program,” announced Pate. “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.”
This year's online application opened on Tuesday, October 12 and will continue accepting submissions until November 29, 2021 at 5:00 pm (CT).
Applications can only be submitted through the Kelly Registration System (KRS) at agi.alabama.gov/hempapp.