Anyone who wishes to grow or process industrial hemp in Minnesota must obtain a hemp pilot license. Anyone who sells hemp seed for planting, process hemp materials, conduct laboratory testing, or handle raw, viable hemp must also obtain a license. 

Only first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check. 

Applications that are incomplete or do not include the required attachments listed below will not be considered. There are two sections first-time applications must complete.

Section 1) You must submit the following FOUR items to the Industrial Hemp Program at the MDA:

  1. A completed Informed Consent- Background Check Request Form authorizing MDA to conduct a federal/state criminal background check summary, and
  2. A current set of fingerprints (obtainable for a $10 fee at either the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) headquarters in St. Paul OR at your local sheriff or police department), and
  3. A current, detailed map of the field location(s); Google map or FSA map acceptable, and
  4. A completed, signed Hemp Pilot Program Grower Application and/or Processor Application.

Mail these four items to: Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection Division, Industrial Hemp Program, 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538

Section 2) You must submit the following TWO items to the MDA Cashier: 

  1. A $37 payment for a background check, and
  2. A completed Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Background Check Fee Form.

Mail these two items to: Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Attn: Cashier, 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538

No one will have access to your private data except those permitted access by law, your written consent, court order, or those department employees whose job duties require access. Names, addresses of study participants, and locations of research or study sites are private data.

All applicants are required to immediately notify the MDA if they wish to change any information associated with their license at any time during the growing season, including, but not limited to: changing a field location, number of acres grown, amount of seed planted, number of fields, and final product being produced and marketed. Any additional fees incurred by the amendment will be assessed and billed to the pilot.

2019 FEES

The MDA is required to collect annual fees for registration of sites and certification of hemp crops through randomized THC testing. MDA is also required to administer criminal background checks for all first-time applicants. The following fees will be assessed by MDA if your application is approved. All fees are non-refundable.

Grower for One Grow Location (0-5 acres) $350
Grower for One Grow Location (5-100 acres) $550
Each Additional Grow Location (≤ 10 miles of Initial) and/or each additional 100 acres of initial field $50 each
Each Additional Grow Location (> 10 miles from the initial) $100 each
Each Additional THC Test Beyond First Harvest $250
Processor ONLY License $250

Next Steps

If your application is approved, then you will be sent an acceptance packet, which includes a License Fee Request form and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Only after you have returned those signed documents, plus required fees, will you be issued an industrial hemp pilot license. You cannot take physical possession of hemp seed or propagative materials until you have obtained a current license. 

Because this is a research pilot program, all pilot participants are required to submit an agronomic and/or processing report to the MDA at the end of the growing season. Pilot participants should therefore record information on their fields, such as seeding rate, cultivation/harvest methods, yield, and pesticide/fertilizer use, throughout the growing season. Processors should record information such as amount of hemp processed, processing methods used, and products made and sold.