The industrial hemp licensing period is officially open in Alabama for the 2022 season.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will accept online applications from growers, processors and handlers, and universities through 5 p.m. Nov. 29, 2021.
“This is the department’s fourth year to administer the hemp program,” ADAI Commissioner Rick Pate said in a news release. “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.”
Beginning as a pilot program in 2019, Alabama’s industrial hemp program grew from 152 growers to 397 licensed growers in 2020, but participation dipped to 187 growers in 2021, according to ADAI’s licensing database.Meanwhile, processor and handler licensees grew from 59 to 106 to 112 during that three-year period. In addition, 12 hemp university/college affiliation licenses were awarded for this year.