December 4, 2023

Online applications are now open for anyone wishing to grow or process hemp in Minnesota in 2024. A license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (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.

While the deadline to apply or renew is April 30, 2024, those actively growing hemp plants indoors past December 31, 2023, must renew their license before expiration at the end of the year.

Questions about the MDA’s Industrial 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.

Minnesota Industrial Hemp Program Licensing and Acreage Statistics

Licensing and Acreage 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Approved Applicants 7 47 65 505 542 425 293 285
Licensed Growers 6 33 43 350 461 348 245 229
Licensed Processors – Processing Only 0 5 8 49 77 77 56 56
Outdoor Acres Planted 38 1,202 709 7,353 5,808 2,830 489 887
Indoor Square Feet Planted 0 0 54,618 40,304 1,460,328 318,713 366,026 63,286



Media Contact
Brittany Raveill, MDA Communications