Industrial Hemp

Field of industrial hempAs provided in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project.  The 108th General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 regarding the growing of industrial hemp in Tennessee. The Act removes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the criminal code. The cultivation of industrial hemp is now available as an option for Tennessee farmers on a limited basis. The Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has promulgated regulations establishing a program of licensing authorized hemp producers.

Sec. 7606. Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research contained in the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, which was signed into law Feb. 7, provides for the cultivation of industrial hemp for purposes of research by institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture in states where it is legal. The interaction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the provisions of Sec. 7606 is a developing process. As TDA develops Tennessee's industrial hemp program every effort will be made to minimize the impact of federal law on potential hemp producers in Tennessee.   In May of 2016 the law was amended to allow for a processor license.

The regulations are available at

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

The application period for the 2017 growing season is from November 1, 2016 through April 1, 2017.

Applicants wishing to participate in the Department’s pilot program must complete an application and required documentation as “Applicant.”   They must submit with their application a signed memorandum of understanding with the Department.  Applicants are asked to please complete the application in full by the April 1 deadline.  INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  At the end of the growing season, program participants are required to submit an agronomic report provided by the Department regarding their industrial hemp crop(s).  The department will collect license fees and other regulatory expenses from the program participant directly.  An industrial hemp grower license is required to grow industrial hemp.  A processor  license is required  for manufacturing of industrial hemp into various products.  Please choose the application(s) that most suit your research goals.

Download a copy of the Industrial Hemp Grower Application

Download a copy of the Industrial Hemp Processor License Application

Download a copy of the Industrial Hemp Movement Permit Application

Download a copy of the Industrial Hemp Processor List

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. TDA has applied for an import permit from DEA and will assist producers in procuring seed legally.  TDA will assist applicants in obtaining certified seed in compliance with the requirements of the DEA. Individuals are not permitted to import seed on their own.

Return applications to or:

Industrial Hemp Program
Consumer and Industry Services Division
TN Department of Agriculture
PO Box 40627
Nashville, TN 37204