THE 2021 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 2021 grower application and license renewal deadline is March 15, 2021. Processor/Handler Applications are accepted year round, but annual license renewals are due by December 31.
- KDA issues multi-year licenses 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 annually.
- 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.
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 2021 Grower Orientation or the 2021 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.
All costs associated with hemp production 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 hemp production. Potential applicants should understand that at the present time it is likely that they may suffer a loss on the 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.
*Find a buyer/processor for your intended harvest. As a starting point, you can find the Processor/Handler List on the Program Page titled "Hemp Licensing Program Overview". Please keep in mind that hemp has a limited demand and the market is still suffering from an excessive over-supply of hemp floral material grown in 2019.
*Apply for and obatin a hemp Grower License from KDA
*Locate and obtain legal hemp seeds or transplants (processor will typically dictate what strain you plant). You can find the Seed & Transplant Providers List. On the Program Page titled "Hemp Licensing Program Overview".
*Research proper crop production techniques before planting the crop.
University / College Participation
The University 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 Application prior to possessing hemp seeds, plants, leaf material, or floral material. It is also important that each researcher fully understand the administrative regulations, found on the Hemp and the Law page.
Institutions of higher education are authorized by state and federal law 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 hold a license from the KDA Hemp Licensing Program. University applicants will be issued either a Hemp Grower License or a Hemp Processor/Handler License depending on their needs.
For more information, University and College facalty can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org