Just as people were getting used to seeing hemp fields here and there in Alabama, the federal government has thrown a wrinkle into the process.
The application period to grow hemp in Alabama during 2020 has been delayed while state officials wait for a rule to be published by the USDA.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries issued a statement this week saying it must await an “interim final rule” to be published by the USDA. Once the interim final rule has been released and reviewed, the application period will open.
The anticipated dates for accepting hemp applications for the 2020 Hemp Program will be Oct. 7 through Nov. 14. Hemp applications will be open to growers, processors and handlers, and universities.
The 2019 farm bill declassified hemp as a schedule 1 drug, viewing it as an agricultural commodity, and farmers began to grow it this year. Hemp is used in the manufacture of CBD oil, which has been credited, not always scientifically, with having a number of medicinal uses.
For more information and updates, visit agi.alabama.gov/divisions/plant-protection/industrial-hemp