January 15, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) invites anyone interested in hemp and hemp production to its 2021 Industrial Hemp Forum.

The two-day virtual event will be held Wednesday, February 10, and Thursday, February 11, from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The event is free to attend.

Forum topics include federal and state regulations, plant breeding and agronomy, and market opportunities.

“Our virtual forum is designed for anyone with interests in hemp production, processing, or marketing, whether they are currently involved in the industry or are interested in getting involved,” said MDA Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place. “2021 marks an exciting turning point in the history of industrial hemp with Minnesota and tribal nations overseeing federally backed programs, and we want to share as much information as we can about this crop so growers and processors can be successful.”

This will be the first time Minnesota’s Industrial Hemp Program will operate under a new, federally approved state plan that governs production and regulation. When the 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp as an agricultural commodity, it also required states and tribal nations to submit plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if governments wanted to oversee their own commercial program. In July 2020, USDA approved the state of Minnesota’s plan. Prior to 2021, Minnesota had been operating under a pilot program.

For more information on the 2021 Industrial Hemp Forum and to register, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/hempforum.


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 Industrial Hemp Program Licensing and Acreage Statistics

Licensing and Acreage 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Approved Applicants 7 47 65 505 542
Licensed Growers 6 33 43 350 461
Licensed Processors - Processing Only 0 5 8 49 77
Outdoor Acres Planted 38 1,202 709 7,353 5,808
Indoor Square Feet Planted 0 0 54,618 40,304 1,460,328



Media Contact
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications