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Online Applications Now Open for Minnesota's 2023 Industrial Hemp Program

Growers and processors must apply for a state license

 

November 10, 2022



St. Paul, MN: Online applications are now open for anyone wishing to grow or process hemp in Minnesota in 2023. A license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is required for individuals and businesses.

Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2023, and a license is good for the 2023 calendar year.

The application can be found on the MDA website at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/industrialhemp. Along with the online form, first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

Growers and processors need to be aware of the following for 2023:

• Growers are required to complete a Farm Service Agency (FSA) 578 form for all hemp varieties and locations planted. This must be submitted no more than days 10 after planting to the county FSA office (or offices) where the hemp is grown. If a grower fails to submit this data to FSA in the required time, the MDA will not be allowed to sample and test those fields or issue a Fit for Commerce Certificate for those hemp lots.

• Growers are responsible for submitting the following reports to the MDA:

o Planting Report: This must be submitted to the MDA no more than 10 days after reporting the lots by variety to FSA, or a grower will be subjected to a penalty. A report must be submitted even if a grower decides not to plant hemp for the license period.

o Harvest Report: This must be submitted to the MDA no more than 30 days and no less than five days before harvest of a hemp lot. Lots that were not harvested due to field failures or destroyed for other reasons must also be reported. Failure to submit a Harvest Report will result in a penalty.

• A grower license no longer includes one regulatory sample for pre-harvest THC testing. Each official regulatory sample collected by MDA will cost $100.

• The MDA licenses processors that handle raw hemp and initially process it by extraction, decortication, devitalization, crushing or packaging, and the department will continue random inspections of processor locations.

• License fees will remain the same. The minimum cost of a grower license is $400. A processing license is a minimum of $500.

While the deadline to apply or renew is April 30, 2023, those actively growing hemp plants indoors past December 31, 2022, must renew their license before expiration at the end of the year.

Questions about the MDA’s Industrial Hemp Program should be sent to hemp.mda@state.mn.us or 651-201-6600.

Background

Industrial hemp and marijuana are both types of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. They differ by the concentration level of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) within the plant. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, and levels above that are considered marijuana.

Minnesota operated under a hemp pilot program from 2016-2020. In 2021, the program began operating under a new, federally approved state plan that governs production and regulation.

For more information, refer to Minnesota's Industrial Hemp Program licensing and acreage statistics.

 

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