General Questions The application period for the 2022 Minnesota Hemp Program license period is now close Federal laws allow Minnesota consumers aged 18 years and older to buy CBD oil since the then US president, Donald Trump, signed the Farm Bill in 2018.
FAQs Regarding Minnesota’s Hemp Program
The application period for 2023 will open in November 2022.
If you are a current license holder and need to add or change locations, submit a Change Request Form. If you need to report hemp acreage planted or request an inspection/THC test, please contact the MDA Hemp Program staff to request the Planting Report form.
An MDA inspector must take plant samples for THC testing within 30 days of harvest. The license holder is responsible for notifying the MDA of the hemp lots they’ve planted by filing a Planting Report form. Please contact the Hemp Program staff to request the Planting Report form. Once we receive your report, we will schedule your inspection and sampling. Inspectors take 30 cuttings per lot, the top 5 inches of the female flowers. At least 75% of the plants must be flowering in order for us to take samples, and there must be at least 5 inches of female flower vertically along the stem. Each variety is considered a separate lot and must be sampled separately. The grower will be invoiced for any extra inspections/tests beyond the first one.
If you aren’t sure when your harvest will occur, you can either send a picture of your plants along with your form or write a description of the growth stage that your plants are at. That will help us to determine the proper time for the inspection. Please be advised that all hemp crops must be tested by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, pass the THC Test, and have an issued Fit for Commerce certificate prior to transferring ownership of the crop. Selling or transferring ownership of hemp crop without a Fit for Commerce certificate is a violation.
As defined in the 2018 Farm Bill and Minnesota Statues Chapter18K, Section 2, hemp is the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the seeds, and all its derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. For regulatory purposes, the THC concentration is analyzed post-decarboxylation, as required by the federal law. This is commonly referred to as “Total Potential THC” and is equal to delta-9 THC + (THCA x 0.877). Hemp is an agricultural crop which can be grown for fiber, grain, or medicinal usages.
The 2014 Farm Bill contained a provision to allow state departments of agriculture to administer pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of hemp. In 2015, the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Development Act (IHDA), Minnesota Statues Chapter18K, became law. This allowed the MDA to create a hemp pilot program. The Minnesota pilot program operated in 2016 through 2020.
The 2018 Farm Bill officially legalized hemp cultivation for commercial purposes and removed it from the Controlled Substances Act. On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Final Rule (7 CFR part 990), which forms the regulatory framework for all hemp cultivation nationwide. Each state and tribal authority has to submit a plan for approval to USDA if they wanted to continue to regulate hemp at the state/tribal level. The Minnesota State Plan was approved on May 6, 2021. Visit the USDA website to view the entirety of the Minnesota plan.
|Licensed Processors- Processing Only||5||8||49||88||77|
|Outdoor Acreage Planted||38||1,202||709||7,353||4,690||2,830|
|Indoor Square Footage Planted||54,618||403,304||282,790||318,713|
Each license expires on December 31 of the year issued. Each year, licensees must reapply to be in the program.
All hemp produced in Minnesota must be sampled and tested within 30 days prior to harvest. Each variety grown is considered a separate lot and must be sampled separately. A grower may not harvest a hemp lot until a sample has been collected. Growers must harvest each lot within 30 days of the sample collection date. The grower may harvest any time after the sample is collected, even before they have received the official lab results/Fit for Commerce certificate from the MDA. However, they cannot combine lots or sell the material until they receive the Fit for Commerce certificate.
Licensed growers must first report all planted hemp lots to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) within 10 days after planting, and then to the MDA by filing a Planting Report within 10 days after filing the FSA report. The MDA Planting Report forms are submitted electronically–please contact the Hemp Program to get a link to the Planting Report. The grower must also submit a Harvest Report to the MDA no more than 30 days and no less than 5 days prior to harvest.
Beginning in 2021 under the new State Plan, we will move to a random- and risk-based sampling plan. The MDA will focus on official regulatory testing of higher risk hemp lots such as: new varieties, varieties that historically have a 5% or higher failure rate in Minnesota, lots grown by growers that are operating under a corrective action plan, etc. The historical testing data that we will use to determine risk factors is found in THC Test Results Summary by Variety- All Samples 2016- 2020. Please view the Minnesota State Plan for the full details about the sampling plan.
If the MDA does NOT select a lot for official sampling, the grower will receive a letter informing them and instructions on how to take their own sample and submit it to the lab. The grower must sample according to official MDA protocol, and the sample must be taken within the 30 day window prior to harvest. The grower must submit the COA/test results to the MDA along with the Harvest Report in order to obtain a Fit For Commerce certificate for the hemp.
If a grower cannot complete harvest within 30 days of the sample collection date, they must inform the program staff. A second sample may need to be taken if the grower will be harvesting past the 30-day window.
To sample a hemp lot, the sampler will take 30 cuttings of 30 different plants per lot, randomly selected throughout the plant population. They will cut the top 5 inches of the female flower of each of the 30 plants. At least 75% of the female plants must be flowering in order to take samples, and there must be at least 2 inches of flower vertically along the stem. Lots which have less than 30 plants will be sampled proportionally. Please contact the MDA Hemp Program for more information.
The samples will be submitted to Legend Technical Services Inc., an accredited lab in St. Paul, for THC analysis by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The final regulatory determination will be based on the total potential THC post-decarboxylation, which is equal to delta-9 THC + (THCA x 0.877) if the sample is analyzed via HPLC methodology.
Compliance of a hemp lot will be based on whether the percentage of Total THC determined on a dry weight basis includes a value of 0.30% within a range of values specified by a plus or minus the measurement of uncertainty (MU). The MU adopted by the MDA Hemp Program is based on the laboratory measurement of uncertainty plus sampling variability. The MU for 2021 is 24% of the value of the % Total THC test result.
Example 1: A test result is 0.396% and the MU is +/- 0.09533, therefore the results range is 0.300- 0.491%. Since 0.30% falls within the result range, this is a passing THC test result.
Example 2: A test result is 0.422% and the MU is +/- 0.10209, therefore the results range is 0.320- 0.524%. Since 0.30% does not fall within the result range, this is a failing THC test result.
If the hemp tests between 0.3% – 1% Total THC, the license holder has the option to remediate, destroy the crop, or request a second sample/retest. If the hemp tests above 1% then it must be destroyed and cannot be remediated.
Remediation means the process of rendering non-compliant cannabis, compliant. There are two acceptable methods of remediation. Remediation can occur either by removing and destroying the flower material, while retaining stalk, stems, leaf material, and seeds, or by shredding the entire plant into a biomass-like material. The remediated biomass must be sampled, tested by the MDA, and shown to be 0.3% Total THC or less in order to enter the stream of commerce.
The following acts are considered “negligent violations“:
- Failing to provide an accurate legal description of land where hemp is grown.
- Growing hemp without a license.
- Producing cannabis that exceeds 1% Total THC. Hemp growers do not commit a negligent violation if they make reasonable efforts to grow hemp and the cannabis does not have a Total THC concentration exceeding 1% after the MU is factored in. *Please note: The only way to prove a “reasonable effort to grow hemp” is to have the seed/clone label, seed/clone vendor info, and the certificate of analysis for the parent plants showing 0.3% THC or less. It is essential for all growers to obtain these records for every lot of hemp they grow and supply it upon request to the MDA.
If a negligent violation occurs, the MDA will issue a Notice of Violation to the licensee and require a corrective action plan to be put in place. The MDA is capped at issuing 1 negligent violation per year. Any licensee that has 3 negligent violations in a 5-year period shall have their license revoked and be ineligible to produce hemp for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the third violation.
A “violation with a culpable mental state greater than negligence” includes:
- Growing cannabis that tests over 1% Total THC and the grower cannot demonstrate that they made a reasonable effort to grow legal hemp (i.e. cannot supply the seed/clone label, seed/clone vendor info, and the certificate of analysis for the parent plants showing 0.3% THC or less).
- The licensee, key participant, individual grower, or authorized representative pleading guilty to, or being convicted of, any drug-related felony during the license period or the 10-year period prior to obtaining the license.
- Making any materially false statement to the MDA.
- Hindering or obstructing an MDA inspector from inspecting, sampling, or carrying out the duties under the state plan or M.S. Chapter 18K.
If the MDA determines that a licensee has committed a violation with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, the MDA shall immediately report the violation to the USDA, U.S. Attorney General, and the Minnesota Attorney General.
All hemp produced in Minnesota must be sampled and tested within the 30 day window prior to harvest. Every hemp variety planted is considered a separate lot and must be reported and tested separately. The program fees paid by the licensee cover the cost of one inspection visit and one sample/THC test. If they have more than one variety, each one will be sampled separately and send an invoice after the inspection at $125 per additional variety. If they require more than one inspection at a location during the year then they will be invoiced $250 for the additional inspection, plus $125 per additional THC test beyond the first one.
All hemp growers are required to report their hemp acreage to their local FSA offices. Hemp growers must first report their planted hemp lots to the FSA within 10 days of planting, and then report to the MDA within 10 days after that. This requirement applies to all hemp growers and all hemp lots, including indoor hemp growers. Please refer to the FSA handout Acreage Reporting Related to Hemp Production, and contact your local FSA office for more information.
Yes, you can grow indoors as long as you register the location. Growing inside any enclosed area, whether a building, greenhouse, or hoop house, is considered “indoor” growing. You must register the indoor space as a separate grow location, even if you are only starting seeds there. Growing, processing, or storing hemp inside a residential dwelling is not permitted.
Once you register your hemp fields with us, we will share your field location and contact information with local law enforcement, including the sheriff and the regional drug task force. For this reason, it is essential that you provide accurate field location information.
Growing, processing, or storing hemp inside a residential dwelling is not permitted. Other than that, we do not put restrictions on hemp production locations as part of the hemp application and licensing process. You may be subject to township or city zoning ordinances, which you are responsible for knowing and complying with.
No, residents of other states may get a Minnesota Hemp Program license. The land that they grow hemp on must be in Minnesota. An MDA Hemp Program license only covers activities within the state of Minnesota. For example, a processor with locations in multiple states would only be covered by their MDA license for processing done within Minnesota.
A company may contract growers to produce hemp. Each individual grower must obtain their own MDA Hemp Program license.
A license holder can grow hemp on rented land as long as the landowner gives consent to allow hemp to be grown on their property, understands that the MDA will perform routine inspections and plant sampling in the fields and gives inspectors unrestricted access to the grow locations. The licensee must provide the MDA with the landowner’s name and contact information. The licensee must make a copy of their Hemp Program license available to the land or building owner.
No. Only the applicant is required to submit fingerprints to the MDA and pass the criminal history background check. That individual is the primary responsible party under the license. If any of their employees violate the law or the terms of the program as agreed to by the license holder, the license may be revoked. The licensee also has an ongoing obligation during their license period to ensure that the licensee, individual growers, any member of the licensee’s business occupying a leadership position, and authorized representatives have not been convicted of a controlled substance-related felony within 10 years of the date of application or during the license period. The licensee can perform whatever background check or vetting process they choose to comply with this requirement.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Minnesota? – August 2022
The legality of hemp-based CBD products only applies to a federal degree in Minnesota . Historically, hemp, marijuana, and all other cannabis varieties were categorized as Schedule I drugs by the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act (5) .
The law defined Schedule I narcotics as drugs, substances, or chemicals that have no accepted medical use in treatment in the US, have a high potential for abuse, and lack any accepted safety for their usage under medical supervision.
At the federal level, Minnesota law mainly targeted marijuana, although cannabis as a whole was affected. Later on, Congress found ways to remove cannabis from the Schedule I list.
Congress legalized hemp cultivation through the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (6) . This law separated hemp from marijuana, defining the former as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC concentration by weight, while the latter has more than the specified amount.
With redefinitions, CBD derived from hemp plants was removed from Schedule I. Still, marijuana-derived CBD remained federally illegal due to the high concentration of psychoactive properties.
Currently, hemp cultivators may produce and sell the agricultural commodity under specified federal conditions, which Congress has yet to finalize.
Further, the 2018 Farm Bill, signed by former president Trump, permitted the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) to regulate CBD’s circulation in stores.
Although the FDA continues to reevaluate their stance on CBD products , companies cannot market CBD products as dietary supplements or make any claims, whether therapeutic for health benefits (7) .
The FDA has previously issued letters that warned companies making unproven claims about CBD as treatments for medical conditions (8) .
Businesses in the CBD industry now include disclaimers on their websites, clarifying that CBD is not medicine.
Minnesota CBD Laws
In 2014, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a medical marijuana bill for legal standard treatment of some medical conditions , including childhood epilepsy (9) .
The bill’s passage made Minnesota the 22 nd US State with a medical marijuana program.
Later on, the 2018 Farm Bill ’s passage affirmed CBD products’ legality with less than 0.3% THC content by weight and distributed through licensed vendors only.
Still, consumers must be cautious when purchasing CBD products . The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy still needs to regulate the specific labeling and testing of cannabis products.
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy regulates CBD legislation while patterning its laws with FDA prohibitions. Companies are prohibited from making therapeutic claims, or marketing and selling CBD products as cures or treatments for diseases.
The following laws discuss the legalization of CBD in the state of Minnesota :
Industrial Hemp Development Act (IHDA)
The Minnesota IHDA is Chapter 18K of the Minnesota Statutes . This law allowed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to launch an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program .
The 2019 Minnesota Statutes defines industrial hemp as all parts of a Cannabis sativa L. plant, including its derivatives and extracts, that do not exceed 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis (10) .
The approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allowed the MDA Hemp Pilot Program to take effect in January 2021 (11) .
Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program
The Minnesota Department of Health formed the Office of Medical Cannabis in 2014 to enact new medical cannabis laws (12) .
This program allows individuals to register as medical cannabis patients who may purchase and possess cannabis -derived CBD at a physician’s recommendation.
Individuals seeking licensure for starting their own CBD business or personal CBD regimen must apply to the Minnesota Hemp Program (13) .
Fi rst-time (14) and returning (15) applicants must submit applications and pay the corresponding application or renewal fees.
|Each Grow Location||$250|
|Each Additional Inspection for THC Testing Beyond First Harvest||$250|
|Each Additional Sample for THC Testing Beyond First Sample||$125|
|License Change Fee||$50|
More information is available at the official MDA Hemp Program website:
Licensed hemp growers in Minnesota must submit plant samples to MDA inspectors for THC testing within 30 days of harvest (16) .
Buying CBD Legally
There are some critical considerations before buying CBD oil in Minnesota . Customers must beware of products that overuse marketing terms like “100% organic” or “pure CBD oil ” without definitive proof.
Customers must check a CBD brand’s background before purchasing its products. A responsible brand includes the certificate of analysis (COA) of its products on its website.
COAs contain comprehensive lab results to confirm CBD products’ potency . These results include the cannabinoid and terpene profiles for consumers to determine the exact amount of CBD present and compare it with what is indicated on the label.
Most laboratory results also include contaminant profiles that detail whether a brand’s CBD product is free from harmful contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, or residual solvents.
Consumers should also check whether a product’s label and packaging provide the following details:
- Amount of CBD per serving
- Net weight
- Manufacturer’s name
- Batch number or code
- List of ingredients
- Suggested usage
- Type of CBD
How to Decide Which CBD Products to Buy
Apart from traditional oil tinctures, companies infuse CBD in topicals, edibles, capsules, and gummies.
Reliable brands include comprehensive backgrounds about their products, helping consumers determine the best CBD product for them.
For example, a brand that offers CBD-infused topicals may recommend lotions or salves to relieve chronic pain among individuals who engage in heavy physical activity.
Consumers looking for CBD stores in Minnesota may also browse the listings of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
BBB gathers consumer reports and reviews on various businesses and only accredits credible entities (17) .
Where to Buy CBD Products Legally
Customers can typically purchase high-quality CBD products from health and wellness retailers .
Some Minnesota pharmacies sell CBD products that meet state law requirements on labeling and testing.
The only BBB-accredited CBD store in Minnesota is:
- Stigma, LLC
Minneapolis , MN
Phone: (612) 328-9966
Meanwhile, other high rating CBD stores in Minnesota listed on the BBB website include (18) :
- Vapor Bunker
Phone: (763) 535-6611
- Masterpiece Vapors
Detroit Lakes, MN
Phone: (218) 844-2012
- Sarah’s Tobacco Inc
Columbia Hts, MN
Phone: (763) 788-2700
CBD Possession Limits
Minnesotan customers can legally possess unlimited amounts of hemp-derived CBD products , unlike eligible medical marijuana patients, who may have only a 30-day supply of cannabis -derived products.
For controlled substance offenses under the 2019 Minnesota Statutes , non-eligible individuals may pay fines for possessing a small amount (less than 42.5g (19) ) of cannabis -derived products (20) .
Offenders may also be subject to taking drug education programs.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid or compound found within cannabis plants.
Most CBD products sold in stores are derived from hemp plants than they are from marijuana plants.
CBD is more abundant in hemp plants than marijuana, which explains why companies typically source the CBD for their products from industrial hemp .
Companies manufacture hemp extracts in different product forms. Available CBD products include tincture oils, topicals , gummies, capsules, and vape juices.
Several types of research have examined the potential benefits of CBD, including anti-anxiety (21) , anti-inflammatory (22) , anti- epilepsy (23) , and analgesic properties (24) . Still, CBD products are not medicine.
Are There Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana?
Although both hemp and marijuana are varieties of Cannabis sativa plants, their differences lie in their cannabinoid contents.
Hemp contains more CBD than marijuana. CBD is non-psychoactive, while THC is psychoactive. Thus, using or consuming products rich in THC can cause users to “get high.”
THC is more abundant in marijuana plants than it is in hemp plants , which explains why marijuana-based products are federally illegal to possess and process.
What Are the Different Types of CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the hemp plant ’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids , including trace amounts of THC .
Broad-spectrum CBD contains most of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids within the hemp plant , except THC .
CBD isolate only contains CBD after the hemp plant undergoes extraction methods to strip the plant of most of its naturally-occurring cannabinoids .
What Is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana?
CBD oil is hemp-derived and has a THC content of less than 0.3%, while medical marijuana may exceed that limit.
Consumers also do not need a medical marijuana card to purchase CBD oil .
Through the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program, qualified patients may enroll in a patient registry to obtain medical cannabis from one of eight dispensaries in the state (25) .
Like in all 50 United States , Minnesotan consumers can legally purchase CBD products that meet the conditions described in the 2018 Farm Bill .
The standard condition for a CBD product ’s legal status is that it should only have trace amounts of THC , specifically less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.
Consumers must remember that CBD products are not cure-all medicines and have no FDA -approved medical benefits.
Despite the many studies that link the use of CBD to the treatment of several health benefits , first time CBD users would be wise to seek professional medical advice from doctors or physicians with cannabis experience.
*The information shared in this article was based on findings retrieved on November 19, 2020. The legality and regulations for CBD may change without notice .