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Alabama hemp growers must apply for license by today

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The deadline is today for anyone who wants to grow hemp legally in Alabama.

The plant was decriminalized in Alabama back in 2016. It has to have less than 0.3% of the marijuana-type chemical that makes you high in order to be legal. All hemp growers must apply annually to receive a hemp license.

Hassey Brooks is the Deputy Commissioner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry. His department collects and reviews all hemp grower applications.

“Since we started the program in 2019, year one we had about 140 growers. That number drastically increased in 2020," he said. "We had over 400 licensed growers, and then in 2021 we have had less than 200.”

Brooks said industrial hemp is an effective alternative crop.

“At the end of the day, hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity. But this is a decision based upon the grower if they want to use hemp in their operation.”

Just over 110 applications have been submitted so far.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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