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Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program

Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program

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Processor Appplications available for 2018 Program, see right sidebar


Grower Application Period is CLOSED for 2018 - there are NO EXCEPTIONS

  • Press Release
  • Final Processor/Handler Application deadline is June 1, 2018 at 4:30 PM

  • 2018 University Affiliation Application accepted any time
  • The Department is also accepting comments on the draft administrative regulations, 302 KAR 50.020 - 50.070

Program Overview

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is conducting an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program as authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C. § 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill).  Individuals and businesses who would like to be considered for participation in the Kentucky pilot program must submit the appropriate license application to KDA Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601 prior to the established deadlines.   

Industrial Hemp is a Controlled Substance
       and requires a KDA License to Grow or Process

Industrial hemp plants, leaf, floral and viable seed materials remain a Schedule I Controlled Substance under state and federal law; no person can grow, handle, or process industrial hemp in Kentucky without a license in the Department's Program.


Program Applications

The application packets are designed to provide sufficient instructions for completion by any individual who would be prepared to participate in this research pilot program.  The application packets include a broad understanding of the program, but applicants should read the draft regulations for complete details. Please make sure to fully review all application materials and draft regulations prior to contacting hemp staff with questions. 


KDA is not in the position to offer direct consultation on completing a program application or to educate individuals about the production of industrial hemp. Prospective participants are to conduct research which will add to the industrial hemp body of knowledge that is currently limited. For a better understanding of hemp production techniques refer to a recent publication by the University of Kentucky.


All costs associated with the research are the responsibility of the participant, including both profits and loss. There are no sources of funding from KDA to cover any aspect of research projects. Participants should understand that at the present time it is likely that they may suffer a loss on the industrial hemp crop. Limited production knowledge combined with an uncertain federal regulatory environment and unstable pricing creates significant risk for the participant. The focus of this program is the collection of research data.

Draft Regulations

Comments on the draft regulations should be submitted by email to with “Reg Comments” in the subject line, or by postal mail to KDA Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.  The deadline for comments is October 31, 2017.


Other Program Information

KDA has made available a complete list of 2017 participants, by name and county, including both growers and processors. Please note the listed name is the name in which the participant License is issued, either by individual or by company; the listed county is the county where sites are licensed to grow or process industrial hemp. This list does not include affiliated university projects.

Sign-up to Receive Updates

Persons interested in Kentucky's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and not already on the email notification list should send an email to with your name and contact information to be added to the list. Notifications will include announcements for industrial hemp field days, conferences, application releases, etc.

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