USDA Approves Minnesota’s Revised Hemp Plan

Minnesota’s hemp production plan was given final approval by the USDA this week; it will be the state’s first year not operating under its 2014 pilot program.

Full story after the jump.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Minnesota’s revised hemp production plan marking the first year the state is not operating under the 2014 pilot program rules. The new hemp regime follows some federal guideline changes, including opening up the testing window from 15 to 30 days and allowing remediation of hemp plants that exceed 0.3% total THC but below 1%.

Under the state plan, growers cannot be assessed more than one negligent violation in a year, while the previous plan allowed an unlimited number of assessed violations. The penalty for violations is unchanged, the state Agriculture Department said in a press release, noting that hose with three negligent violations in five years will be ineligible for a license for five years.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place called the approval “a major step forward.”

“…And we’re pleased that modifications have been made at the federal level that can ensure Minnesota’s hemp growers and processors are successful in this fledging industry.” – Place in a statement

Hemp cultivators in Minnesota must be licensed by the state Department of Agriculture. The agency indicated it has received 454 applications for this year, which is down slightly from the 586 applicants in 2020 and the 505 applicants in 2019, according to state data.

In 2019 – the year following federal hemp reforms – there were 7,353 acres of hemp grown outdoors in the state along with 403,304 square feet grown indoors. In 2020, those figures dropped to 4,690 and 282,790, respectively.

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