April 1, 2024

Those wanting to grow and process hemp in Minnesota in 2024 must apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by April 30. To date, about 113 people have applied for an MDA license. A license from the MDA is required for individuals and businesses.

Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2024, and a license is valid for the 2024 calendar year.

The application can be found on the MDA website. Along with the online form, first-time applicants and authorized representatives need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check. These licenses are for growing and processing industrial hemp only. The hemp grower or processor application is not for the growth or sale of adult-use or medical cannabis. The application is also not intended for the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products. Adult-use cannabis information can be found on the Office of Cannabis Management website. Information related to medical cannabis and hemp-derived cannabinoid products can be found at the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Growers and processors need to be aware of the following for 2024:

  • All authorized representatives designated by the applicant must pass a criminal history background check prior to the issuance of a license.
  • Every lot of hemp grown requires pre-harvest THC regulatory testing. Each official regulatory sample collected by the MDA will cost $100.
  • The MDA licenses processors that handle raw hemp and initially process it by extraction, decortication, devitalization, crushing, or packaging, and the department will continue random inspections of processor locations.
  • License fees will remain the same. The minimum cost of a grower license is $400. A processing license is a minimum of $500.

Questions about the MDA’s Industrial Hemp Program should be sent to hemp.mda@state.mn.us 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.

Minnesota Industrial Hemp Program Licensing and Acreage Statistics

Licensing and Acreage 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total Applicants 7 47 65 505 586 459 299 312
Licensed Growers 6 33 43 353 461 348 240 230
Licensed Processors – Processing Only 0 5 8 49 88 77 53 56
Outdoor Acres Planted 38 1,202 711 7,353 4,690 2,830 375 834
Indoor Square Feet Planted 0 0 54,618 403,304 1,353,489 318,713 122,040 68,771



Media Contact
Brittany Raveill, MDA Communications