AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Hemp grower applications and processor/handler applications are available for the 2021 growing season from Oct. 13 through Nov. 30. Applications can be found on the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) website.
Full applications, including supporting documents, must be complete before the Nov. 30 deadline to receive approval consideration. Seasoned and new growers alike must complete annual applications.
Katelyn Kesheimer, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist and member of the hemp action team, anticipates the number of growers in Alabama will hold steady.
“In 2018-2019 there was a huge increase in the number of growers, both in Alabama and the U.S.,” Kesheimer said. “In 2019-2020 there was still an increase, but it wasn’t as drastic.”
She anticipates approximately 500 applications, which is similar to the application numbers for the 2020 season.
Kesheimer said Extension professionals are offering three in-person sessions for those who need assistance with application completion.
“The sessions will be hybrid sessions with a limited number of people allowed to attend in person,” she said. “Others will be able to join on Zoom. Registration is free, but attendees must complete registration so attendees can choose to attend in-person or on Zoom.”
A representative from ADAI will also be present to answer questions regarding grower applications.
Thursday, Nov. 5
North Alabama Hemp Roundtable – Register at www.aces.edu/event/north-alabama-hemp-roundtable.
2344 County Road 747
Cullman, Alabama 35058
Max attendees: 30
Applicants and any key participants of a partnership seeking a hemp license are still required to submit a current background check within 60 days of application. Checks are completed through the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (334-353-4340). The background check application can be found online (www.alea.gov/sites/default/files/inline-files/SBI-ApplicationReviewALCHRI.pdf). Growers must submit these reports no later than 14 days after the Nov. 30 deadline.
Kesheimer said there are several changes for the 2021 growing season, including requiring a farm number for the farm growing hemp. Growers can obtain a farm number from the local FSA office. Other changes slated for implementation in 2021 can be found on the ADAI website.
Hemp grower applications
Prior to completing the application, growers should read all rules and regulations regarding hemp production and handling. ADAI does not offer assistance with completing hemp grower applications and cannot offer guidance to individuals on production aspects of hemp.
County Extension offices can provide growers with the names of personnel who can assist with hemp production questions. Growers may also visit the Alabama Industrial Hemp Program webpage for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Growers will find resources, as well as personnel contacts.