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Deadline Looms for State's Hemp Growers

The State of Alabama is continuing to encourage the growing of hemp as an agricultural product and there’s a deadline today.

Alabama hemp growers or processors have to apply for a permit for next year’s crop by today. The process involves a background check, meetings, and paying fees. 

Dr. Katelyn Kesheimer is with the Alabama cooperative extension system. She said hemp has almost no chemical content, which gives marijuana users a high.

“The main difference between hemp and marijuana, even though it’s the same species of plant, is the THC content. That Psychoactive compound that marijuana is used for, but hemp has little to no THC. The illegal limit is .3% or lower. It’s primarily grown right now for the essential oils,” she said.

Kesheimer said Covid-19 has affected this year’s application process. She said hemp farming is still new to Alabama.

“Legally in Alabama we are in our second year. So, with the passing of the 2014 and 2018 farm bills that opened it up for commercial growers in Alabama in 2019. So, we are currently wrapping up our second growing season in the state. A lot of the crops have been harvested and otherwise processed.” she said.

Alabama lawmakers are encouraging the production of hemp for items like cloth and CBD oil.

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