ALABAMA (WDHN)— Alabama hemp growers now have a chance to get in on the action of growing and processing industrial hemp in 2023!

Hemp growers, processors and handlers, and universities are now able to apply for an industrial hemp license through the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).

Applications will only be available online through the Kelly Registration System (KRS) here.

The ADAI began accepting applications on October 11 and will continue to accept them until November 30, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

A criminal background check must be submitted for every applicant and every key participant of partnerships, corporations, and other entities. This background check must be submitted directly through the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

In 2016, the Alabama Hemp Research Program Act was passed. This tasked the ADAI with the development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp. This legislation defines hemp as all parts of the plant containing less than 0.3% THC, including derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids.

The licensing and inspection program launched in 2019, after the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, or the Farm Bill, declassified hemp as a Schedule I drug and deemed it as an agricultural commodity.