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Ginseng Program

Tennessee Ginseng licensing arose out of the Ginseng Dealer Registration Act of 1983, and the Ginseng Harvest Season Act of 1985. Through the Ginseng Dealer and Ginseng Harvest Season Acts, this program regulates Tennessee’s multi-million dollars per year ginseng industry pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora of 1973 (CITES). The Division permits about 50 ginseng dealers annually and certifies an average of 15,500 pounds of wild ginseng root per year for export. The purpose of this program is to monitor the harvest level of wild ginseng to ensure that its commercial exploitation does not cause it to become endangered, and to provide technical assistance to the State’s ginseng dealers and cultivators. For information on the laws and regulations of the Tennessee Ginseng Licensing and how to obtain a Ginseng Dealer's Permit, see the Environmental Permitting Handbook.

Collection of Ginseng on the Cherokee National Forest requires a permit from the US Forest Service. Please contact the Ranger District where you would like to collect for further information. Please see the Cherokee National Forest website for more information.

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Andrea Bishop
Conservation Biologist
(615) 741-9141