The Minnesota department of Agriculture (MDA) now has online applications available for Minnesota Farmers that want to grow Industrial Hemp in 2021. Needles to say growing Industrial Hemp in Minnesota id highly regulated by the MDA. Farmers need a license from the MDA before they can grow Industrial Hemp. The Federal 2018 Farm Bill made growing Industrial Hemp Legal as an agricultural commodity.

The Industrial Hemp Program would be regulated by the USDA unless states wished to "oversee" their own program. In July the USDA approved Minnesota's state plan. Here are some of the highlights of Minnesota's program:

Growers that have a license must submit a Planting and Harvest Report Form after planting and let the MDA know of the expected harvest date.

Growers have to report their number of acres to the local Farm Service Agency office.

The hemp crop must be tested no more than 15 days before harvest to make sure the plants are below the .3 percent THC level.

You can find the application at: hemp

"This coming year marks a new chapter in Minnesota's Industrial Hemp Program," said MDA Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place. "We are excited to take this next step forward in hemp production and processing, and we look forward to working with growers and processors so that everyone can be successful in this fledging industry."

The news release I received from the MDA had a graph I found interesting. In 2016 there were 6 licensed growers in Minnesota. This year there were 461 licensed growers. There were no licensed processors in 2016 and this year there are 77. In 2016 there were only 38 acres planted in Minnesota while in 2020 there were 5,808. In addition this year there was 1.4 million square feet grown indoors. In the picture is a plot of Industrial Hemp growing at Farmfest in 2019.

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