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US (MN): Minnesota hemp growers and processors must apply by April 30 for 2023 season

Those wanting to grow and process hemp in Minnesota in 2023 must apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by April 30. To date, over 160 people have applied for an MDA license.

The online application for growers and processors can be found on the MDA website at Along with the online form, first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

This is the eighth year of the state’s Hemp Program. Last year, 293 people held licenses to grow or process hemp. Over 375 acres and 122,040 indoor square feet were planted in Minnesota in 2022.

Growers and processors need to be aware of the following for 2023:

  • The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing fee per grower sample will cost $100.
  • Penalties may be assessed to growers that do not submit Planting and Harvest Report forms.
  • Growers are required to complete a Farm Service Agency (FSA) 578 form for all hemp varieties and locations planted. If a grower fails to submit this data to FSA in the required time, the MDA will not be allowed to sample and test those fields nor issue a Fit for Commerce Certificate for those hemp lots.
  • A grower license starts at $400.
  • The minimum cost of a processor license is $500.

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.

Questions about the MDA’s Hemp Program should be sent to 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.

Minnesota operated under a hemp pilot program from 2016-2020. In 2021, the program began operating under a new, federally approved state plan that governs production and regulation.


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