Alabama has approved applications from 180 farmers who want to grow hemp, and the first crop will be planted in April, said Alabama Department of Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate.
"Those who have been seeking serious peasants," Pate said. "These are not people who have grown marijuana."
Some applications that did not include a $ 100 application fee or were not from qualified farmers may have been rejected, Pate says.
"There could be one or two who wanted to grow it in the backyard," said Pate. "It's not the purpose."
Otherwise, no real farmers were knocked down. The deadline for application was in early March.
"We approved all legitimate applications," Pate said. "These messages go out this week."
Alabama also received about 70 applications from people who want to have hemp treatment operations, Pate said. "We ended up approving them all," he said.
"The idea was to endure people who didn't know what they were doing," he said.
The next step for farmers is to buy hemp seeds, which cost about $ 1
Although marijuana is a type of hemp, industrial hemp contains much smaller amounts of THC, the intoxicating substance in marijuana.
"It's industrial hemp," Said Pate. "It doesn't have THC. If you tried to smoke it, you would get sick like a dog before you became tall. 19659002] Hemp is appreciated for its fiber, which can be used to make ropes. Stems and seeds can be used to make fabric, fiber boards, carpets, insulation, animal feed and car components. Hemp can also be the source of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which some use as a treatment for physical ailments.
"There is obviously a market for it," said Pate. "We'll inspect it and test it."
CBD oil can also be derived from marijuana and Alabama legislature has allowed limited exemptions from the law against marijuana possession for use of CBD oil.
2018 The Agriculture and Industry Act changed the legal status of hemp from a controlled substance to an agricultural product.
"It's a pilot program," said Pate. "We have a responsibility to go out and inspect it. We have to see which varieties do better."
If someone planted the wrong type of hemp, "we plow it under," said Pate.
Pate refused to identify any hemp farmers by name. But obviously, hemp will come to farms all over the country soon.
"They are planted in mid-April, harvested after about 90 days or 100 days," said Pate.
So by Later Summer Alabama will have her first legal hemp harvest for decades.
Then, processors in the state must be able to make it a product.
"There may not be a market or processor," Pate said. "Someone has to treat it."
Alabama's ham processing plant must quickly take the form of an industry that does not yet exist.
Otherwise, hemp farmers will not be able to use the crop.  "They need to consult a lawyer before sending it over state lines," Pate said. "We believe that places will be treated, but they may not be ready during the fall."
The first year of hemp cultivation can be full of trial and error. "Maybe they will learn from it and come next year, be ready to go," Pate said.
But the potential for a new cash crop is there.
"I hope so," said Pate. "We don't have a good one right now. It can happen. Otherwise, we just drop our time."