Minnesota is preparing for the 2022 hemp growing season.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on Tuesday announced that online applications are open for anyone planning on growing or processing hemp in the state in 2022.
Minnesota requires individuals and businesses to obtain a license to grow hemp.
The state operated a hemp pilot program from 2016 to 2020 and switched to a federally-approved state plan governing production and regulation in 2021.
In 2020, the square footage of indoor hemp planted in Minnesota peaked at 1,460,328 but dropped to 350,000 in 2021.
Along with the online form on the MDA website, first-time applicants must submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.
MDA program staff will send fingerprint cards with instructions on how to request the background check to all first-time applicants after they complete the application.
Applicants with controlled substance-related felony convictions within the past ten years will not be eligible for a license.
Minnesota has also made some changes to the 2022 program.
Previously, the state did not charge growers to test the first sample for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hemp’s THC content must remain less than 0.3 percent.
For a THC test in 2022, Minnesota now charges for the first sample but has reduced the testing fee from $125 to $100 per grower.
The MDA will also begin inspecting processor locations, which it did not do before.
A processor licensing fee will remain at $250, which the state also charges for each processing location, making the minimum cost of a processing license $500.
“The MDA is required to collect annual fees for registration of sites and certification of hemp crops through THC testing,” states the MDA website. “All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. There is a $50 fee for all license changes made after the initial application period. Such changes include changing the license holder’s name, adding a grower or processor category, and adding or changing grow or processing location.”
All changes require a change request form.
According to the MDA, the fee changes better align Minnesota with other states and help adequately fund its hemp program.
- Grower license – $150
- Processor license – $250
- Each location – $250
- Each sample for THC testing – $100
- Each inspection beyond the first one – $250
- License change fee – $50
The minimum cost for a grower license is $400 ($150 for the license, $250 for the location) and $500 for a processor license ($250 for the license, $250 for the location).
Interested parties have until April 30, 2022, to submit their application for a license, which, upon approval, is valid for the 2022 calendar year.
Anyone growing hemp plants indoors past December 31, 2021, must renew their license before it expires at the end of the year.