BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Industrial hemp seed could be the next cash crop in Alabama.
The state launched a pilot program to promote industrial hemp.
As of Wednesday, 182 growers, 65 processors and five universities were approved to grow Hemp.
The pilot program launched after last year's farm bill extension removed hemp seed from the controlled substance list.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries says industrial hemp is different from marijuana.
“Industrial Hemp seed will have a THC content of below .3% and, those producers that are growing industrial Hemp seed this year, that seed will be sampled by Department of Agriculture officials and provided the THC level is below .3%, that crop is marketable to the producer,” said Hassey Brooks with The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries.
If the crop has more than .3% THC, the chemical that produces euphoric effects, state officials say the crop will be destroyed.
Industrial hemp, like the marijuana plant, can produce CBD oil.
Cannabidiol or CBD oil is a marijuana extract gaining popularity as an alternative medical treatment for a host of ailments.
One Birmingham coffee shop is cashing in the perceived benefits of CBD oil by infusing drinks with it.
"The response has been phenomenal," Chris Clevenger, Revelator Coffee Regional Director said. Researchers say the evidence CBD oil treats certain conditions is scant but that hasn't stopped many from trying it out.
"Some of the things CBD oil offers includes promoting calmness and a sense of focus."
For $1 Revelator customers can add CBD oil produced by Relyf in Birmingham, to any drink. Revelator also rolled out two new drinks to celebrate the new addition. “We have a Hibiscus Latte, it’s non-caffeinated made with a Hibiscus tea and mixed with any type of milk,” explained Clevenger. “We also offer a golden milk latte with turmeric and ginger and any type of milk you’d like to use.”
Revelator sells bottles of CBD oil at three of its Birmingham locations for $49.95.
Clevenger says Revelator is proud to be at the forefront of infusing their drinks with the oil.
“To be able to come in a coffee shop and be able to ask, ‘Can I add CBD oil to that?’ beyond a shadow of a doubt is something we want to be able to do,” said Clevenger.