THE 2020 APPLICATION FOR HEMP LICENSES
Thank you for visiting the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Hemp Licensing Program.
Individuals and businesses interested in applying for a grower or processor/handler license can apply online here for no charge at our ONLINE LICENSING PORTAL.
Paper applications are available for review under Forms & Documents in the right side bar. Please note that the paper application requires a $200 service charge.
The 2020 grower application deadline was March 15, 2020. Watch for details of the 2021 application period for growers expected in November of 2020.
- KDA accepts multi-year license applications for both growers and processors/handlers and those licenses are subject to annual renewal requirements.
- Background checks are required for applicants and all key participants in a business entity.
- Site modifications will require a fee after the application has been finalized. KDA encourages growers and processors/handlers to make sure they have their final plans in place before submitting an application as to avoid site modification fees.
- KDA no longer requires the following to obtain a license: a research plan, previous farm experience, a marketing plan, or a seed acquisition plan.
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 regulations 302 KAR 050:020 – 302 KAR 050:080 for complete details. The regulations can be found on the Hemp and the Law program page.
Please make sure to fully review all application materials and regulations prior to contacting hemp staff with questions. If you are new to the hemp industry we recommend that you view the presentation found in the right sidebar under Forms & Documents titled 2020 Grower Orientation or the 2020 Processor/Handler Orientation. Another very helpful document is the University of Kentucky Extension Publication, "An Introduction to Industrial Hemp and Hemp Agronomy", also found in the right sidebar.
KDA is not in the position to offer direct consultation on completing a license application or to educate individuals about the production of industrial hemp. Prospective participants are to conduct research that will add to the industrial hemp body of knowledge. For a better understanding of hemp production techniques refer to a recent publication by the University of Kentucky, found under “Forms & Documents” (mobile users scroll down).
All costs associated with the research are the responsibility of the license holder, including both profits and loss. There are no sources of funding from KDA to cover any aspect of research projects. Potential applicants 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 and learning through experience.
I want to grow hemp. Where do I start?
*Determine what type of hemp you want to grow; what fits your farm operation: Grain, Fiber, Floral Material for CBD extraction.
*Apply for and obatin a hemp Grower License from KDA
*Find a buyer/processor for your intended harvest. As a starting point, you can find the 2019 Processor/Handler List on the Program Page titled "Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Overview". Harvested material can only be sold to licensed processors.
*Locate and obtain legal industrial hemp seeds or transplants (processor will typically dictate what strain you plant). You can find the 2019 Seed & Transplant Providers List. On the Program Page titled "Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Overview".
*Research proper crop production techniques before planting the crop.
University / College Participation
The 2019 University Affiliation Application is accepted at any time. Each principal researcher at a Kentucky university or college intending to grow, handle, process, test, or store industrial hemp must submit the University Affiliation Application prior to possessing industrial hemp seeds, plants, leaf material, or floral material. It is also important that each researcher fully understand the administrative regulations, 302 KAR 50:040 Affiliated Universities and Colleges found on the Hemp and the Law page.
Institutions of higher education are authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C. § 5940 to conduct hemp research, but these laws also require that the growing, handling, processing, and storage sites at universities and colleges be certified and registered with the state department of agriculture. Therefore, Kentucky universities and colleges who plan to research industrial hemp in the Commonwealth are required to affiliate with the KDA’s Program by completing this University/College Affiliation Application form.
Universities and colleges are not required to submit background checks or sign a Licensing Agreement with KDA. University and college affiliates do receive some of the benefits of the program as outlined in the application guidance. Industrial hemp is listed under 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and is still illegal for universities to grow or possess in Kentucky outside of registration in KDA’s Program.
For more information, click on the University/College Affiliation Application on this page in the right sidebar under the heading “Forms & Documents” (mobile users scroll down).