MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — The State Agriculture Department has approved 180 farmers to begin growing industrial hemp.
“Farmers don’t have a lot of crops right now that are making them money, so people are looking, maybe for a cash crop of something they can add to their mix,“ Rick Pate, Agriculture Commissioner, said.
The state has accepted 180 application from people interested in growing industrial hemp, but not all of them will grow it, Pate said.
“Industrial hemp does not have a very high level of THC the stuff that will make you high,“ Dennis Delaney said.
Dennis Delaney with Auburn University says some farmers are hoping to get into the CBD oil market.
“The CBD market has a lot higher profit potential, then the other two types of uses,“ Delaney said.
The agriculture department will be responsible for inspecting the crop.
“Of course we’re not just looking to catch people doing something wrong, we’re looking to see who did a good job, what did well,“ Delaney said.
The next step is for farmers to purchase the seed which cost about $1,000 and then plant it. Pate says hemp could be growing in Alabama by mid-April.