Locals wanting to grow or process hemp in 2020 must apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by March 31.
This is the fifth year for the state’s Industrial Hemp Program. Last year, 550 people held licenses to grow or process hemp in the state, and more than 7,300 acres and 400,000 indoor square feet were planted.
“We believe in the potential of the developing industry,” said Jackson County native Whitney Place, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. “We want to ensure that everyone who would like to grow and process hemp in Minnesota is able to do so. They simply need to apply by March 31.”
The online application for growers and processors can be found on the MDA website at mda.state.mn.us/industrialhemp. Along with the online form, first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.
The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp as an agricultural commodity. Last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released an interim final rule that outlined state and tribal plans for growing the crop. Minnesota is continuing under the existing pilot program in 2020.