According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the number of licensed hemp growers in the state has grown to 2,913 people this year.
The number is a 1,300% increase from the 226 licensed in 2018.
TDA Spokesperson Will Freeman told News 2, the department added staffing and shifted resources to help process the influx of applications, but even then, had to extend its timeline to get the job done.
Freeman said the department saw interest in the program soar once the 2018 Federal Farm Bill became law.
“This will be the first year that we’ll see a full growing season when hemp is taken off the controlled substance list federally,” Freeman said. “I think there’s a little more clarity at the federal level for hemp production – what that looks like not only at the Tennessee level, but across the nation.”
News 2 is tracking The Hemp Surge in Tennessee. Click here for more coverage.