The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is holding three listening sessions around the state to gather input on Minnesota’s Industrial Hemp Program.
Currently, MDA is drafting a state plan to submit to USDA to manage hemp regulations in Minnesota. The department is also beginning expedited rulemaking that will outline specifics of the state’s hemp program, including licensing and testing requirements.
The three meetings will allow growers, processors, consumers and others interested in hemp and hemp products to share their vision for this new commodity.
Meetings will be held:
- Nov. 18, 2-4 p.m., M State Detroit Lakes campus auditorium, 900 MN Highway 34, Detroit Lakes
- Nov. 20, 1-3 p.m., Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Orville L. Freeman Office Building, 625 Robert Street N., St. Paul
- Nov. 21,1-3 p.m., Hubbard Building/Strategic Partnerships Center, Room 201, 424 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato
“We are actively reviewing the rules USDA recently released,” says Thom Petersen, Minnesota ag commissioner. “We want to ensure our state plan and upcoming rules work for those in the industry and we welcome input during this process. It’s important to lay a good foundation to ensure this new industry is successful into the future.”
Interest in industrial hemp has increased dramatically in recent years. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed for pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation and marketing of hemp. It was the first time in decades that hemp was legally allowed to be grown in the United States.
Minnesotans first planted hemp under MDA’s pilot program in 2016. There were six growers that year.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, made it distinct from marijuana and recognized it as an agricultural crop.
In 2019, more than 700 people signed up to grow or process hemp in Minnesota through the MDA program. Growers planted more than 8,000 acres and 400,000 indoor square feet of hemp this year.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are both types of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. They differ by the concentration level of the psychoactive ingredient delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) within the plant. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, and levels above that are considered marijuana.Source: MDA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.