Hemp growers have until the end of the month to apply for their 2021 license

Those wanting to grow, process, breed, or research hemp in Minnesota in 2021 must apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by April 30.

To date, over 370 people have applied for an MDA license.

The online application for growers and processors can be found on the MDA website.

Along with the online form, first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

This is the sixth year of the state’s Industrial Hemp Program.

Last year, 542 people held licenses to grow or process hemp.

Over 5,800 acres and 1.46 million indoor square feet were planted in Minnesota.

The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a final rule that outlined state and tribal plans for growing the crop.

Minnesota is operating under a federally approved plan that governs production and regulations.

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

Anyone growing on tribal lands within a reservation’s boundaries or other lands under tribal jurisdiction (e.g., trust lands off-reservation) must obtain a license from the tribe or the USDA if the tribe does not have an approved hemp production plan.

The Red Lake Nation is among the list of tribes with an approved hemp plan.

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

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.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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