November 1, 2017 marks the first day of the application period for the 2018 industrial hemp growing season. You can apply for a TN industrial hemp grower’s license until April 1, 2018. Just cause you file an application doesn’t mean your going to be accepted into the states’ pilot program.
If you have been charged with a felony; don’t apply. Tennessee’s Department of Argriculture (TDA) is very particular about who will get a license after April 1, 2018. They want to know about your farming experience and an aerial photo of the farm where you want to grow industrial hemp. Because they will come to your farm to see how your industrial hemp crop is doing. The TDA will also notify the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) about the farm. Basically, growing industrial hemp means you’re going to be on the radar of the local and federal government. That can be a good thing.
In bold on the TDA’s Industrial Hemp page it reads, ‘At this time the importation of viable industrial hemp seed across state lines and country boundaries is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) without a permit from DEA.’ Instead of the industrial hemp farmers dealing with the DEA, the TDA acts as the middleman and gets the hemp seeds for everyone awarded an industrial hemp growers license in TN. Aka less governemnt agencies for the industrial hemp farmers to engage with.
Seeds used for Industrial Hemp in TN come from Canada, Belgium or France. All places where the weather is different from Tennessee. Fortunately hemp seeds thrive in the Tennessee weather. However, it does take a special someone to grow industrial hemp. That’s why the state’s department of agriculture is particular about who they let into the Hemp pilot program.
If your interested in becoming a licensed Industrial Hemp Farmer in Tennessee, here’s where you can find more information.