Ginseng Program

Tennessee Ginseng licensing arose out of the Ginseng Dealer Registration Act of 1983 (TCA Title 62 Chapter 28) and the Ginseng Harvest Season Act of 1985 (TCA Title 70 Chapter 8). Ginseng sales and exports in Tennessee are governed by TDEC's Rule 0400-06-01 Ginseng Dealer Registration. Through these laws and rules, the ginseng program regulates Tennessee’s ginseng industry pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora of 1973 (CITES). The collection of wild ginseng for sale or personal use in Tennessee is permitted on private lands with permission from the landowner from September 1st through December 31st, inclusive, of each year. Plants must have three or more prongs and mature red berries and the berries must be replanted after harvest. Tennessee does not issue permits to dig/collect ginseng for personal use or sale in Tennessee, however, any ginseng dealer who purchases ginseng collected in Tennessee for resale or export out of state is required to obtain a ginseng dealer permit.  The legal "buying season" for ginseng in Tennessee (when it is legal for ginseng dealers to purchase ginseng from ginseng collectors) is from September 1st for green roots and September 15th for dry roots through March 31st, inclusive. 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 Export Program and information on how to obtain a Ginseng Dealer's Permit, see the Ginseng Dealer Permit Information section link below.


Ginseng Dealer Permit Information

Ginseng Dealer List:

Additional Resource Links:


Caitlin Elam

Botanist & Ginseng Coordinator 
Call or Text   (615) 519-0955