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The Minnesota hemp pilot program is now accepting applications. The program aims to gain a better understanding of hemp cultivation and marketing in the state. Those who wish to participate in this program must apply for licensing and provide all relevant reports and documentation.

How to Apply to The Minnesota Hemp Pilot Program

There are four steps in the application process: 

Step 1: First, any business or persons planning to grow hemp for industrial purposes in 2020 must fill out the application online, pay all fees, and register any growing or processing locations on a GIS map

Step 2: Once the MDA has all of the necessary information to begin the next step, they will mail the applicant a blank fingerprinting card along with instructions about how to get fingerprinted at a local law enforcement office. Note that each applicant must agree to a fingerprint background check. 

Step 3: Next, the applicant must mail the completed fingerprint card, along with a check or money order for $33.25 to cover the background check, and a completed Hemp Program Background Check Request Form to the Bureau of Minnesota Criminal Apprehension (BCA). 

Step 4: Lastly, the BCA will complete all background checks. The only red flag in the background check is a felony related to controlled substances within the past ten years. Barring this, the applicant will receive their license from the MDA within four weeks from start to finish. 

Note that only first-time growers are required to submit a background check. Those who cannot complete the online application can call the MDA Hemp Program at 651-201-6600 or send an email to [email protected] to request a paper form.

Minnesota Department Of Agriculture
Minnesota Department Of Agriculture

Also, please note that all information is confidential. No one has access to personal data except those permitted by law or whose department job necessitates it, those with expressed written consent or those with a court order.

Hemp Cultivation Licensing Fees in Minnesota

The MDA mandates the annual fees associated with the registration of sites and certification of hemp crops through THC testing. Fees are as follows for obtaining a 2020 hemp cultivation license:

  • Grower license for one grow location: $400 plus $250 for each additional grow location
  • Each additional THC test beyond the first: $25
  • Each additional sample beyond the first: $175
  • Processor license: $250

How to Grow Legal Hemp in Minnesota

In addition to licensing, hemp pilot participants must abide by a strict set of guidelines as outlined by Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture. For example, pilot participants must provide reports to the MDA indicating seed varieties planted, agronomic findings, and any processing, distributing, or sales of hemp or hemp-related products. 

License-holders must also submit their hemp crops to testing within 30 days of harvest. To be clear, it is the responsibility of the license-holder to notify the MDA of an upcoming harvest. Farmers can notify the MDA of a pending harvest by sending in a Planting Harvest Report (PDF). For hemp crop testing in Minnesota, licensed inspectors will take 30 samples from the top two inches of hemp flowers at each growing location. Bear in mind that at least 75 percent of the crop must be flowering before the MDA takes samples.


Finally, samples must prove a THC concentration of no more than .3 percent. Additionally, the product must be labeled “fit for consumption” by the MDA to transfer ownership of the crop. It is a violation of MDA standards to sell or transport hemp crops that are not considered fit for consumption.

Final Thoughts on the Minnesota Hemp Pilot Program

With the 2020 growing season quickly approaching, it’s time for Minnesota hemp farmers to apply for 2020 hemp licensing.  Contact us to learn more about hemp cultivation in Minnesota and to place an order for our premium feminized hemp seeds.

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