ST. PAUL — Online applications are now open for anyone wishing to grow or process hemp in Minnesota in 2021. A license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is required for individuals and businesses.

Applications are due by April 30, and a license is good for the 2021 calendar year. The application can be found at mda.state.mn.us/industrialhemp. Along with the online form, first-time applicants must submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

This is the first time the program will be operating under a new, federally approved state plan that governs production and regulation. When the 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp as an ag commodity, it also required states and tribal nations to submit plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if governments wanted to oversee their own commercial program. In July, USDA approved the state of Minnesota’s plan. Some highlights include:

  • Licensed growers must submit a Planting/Harvest Report Form after planting to notify the MDA of an anticipated harvest date.

  • Growers must also report their hemp acreage to their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

  • A hemp crop must be tested no more than 15 days before harvest to ensure the plants fall below the 0.3% total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level.

Prior to 2021, Minnesota had been operating under a pilot program.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Questions about MDA’s Industrial Hemp Program may be directed to hemp.mda@state.mn.us or (651) 201-6600.