How To Get A License To Grow Hemp In Minnesota

Home » How To Get A License To Grow Hemp In Minnesota
Garry Stewart
Written By Steve Brandon

May 16, 2024

how to get a license to grow hemp in minnesota

The cannabis market is growing fast, especially since recreational cannabis became legal in Minnesota in August 2023. If you’re thinking of starting a marijuana business in Minnesota, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to learn about the different types of cannabis business licenses from the Minnesota government and how to get them.

Minnesota Cannabis Laws

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) partners with the USDA to regulate hemp in the state. In 2014, the Farm Bill allowed state agriculture departments to run hemp pilot programs to study its growth, cultivation, and marketing. Minnesota passed the Industrial Hemp Development Act (IHDA) in 2015, creating a hemp pilot program from 2016 to 2020.

The Minnesota State Hemp Plan was approved in July 2020 and started on January 1, 2021. The USDA approved an updated plan, including federal rules for hemp, on May 6, 2021. In fall 2021, the MDA published rules matching the State Hemp Plan, giving the MDA full authority over hemp production and processing in Minnesota.

Despite national declines in hemp applications and acres, Minnesota was still among the top five states with the most registered hemp producers in 2022. Interest in hemp farming continues in Minnesota.

Changes were made in Minnesota cannabis laws and rules in the 2023 legislative session, leading to updates in the State Hemp Plan. The MDA aims to work with the USDA for a hemp program that both agencies agree on and welcomes feedback on the plan.

how to get a license to grow hemp in minnesota

How To Get A License To Grow Weed

  • Who Can Apply:
    • You must be a Minnesota resident and at least 21 years old.
    • At least 75% of your business owners must also be Minnesota residents.
  • What You Need for Your Application:
    • Fill out your details: name, address, and birthdate.
    • Describe who owns and controls the business.
    • Share your business address and property info.
    • Show papers proving you own or can use the place.
    • Draw a picture of your place and how you’ll keep it secure.
    • Register your business name and show your plan.
    • Get a statement from a labor group about how you’ll work with employees.
    • Promise to follow Minnesota’s cannabis rules.
    • Tell them who to talk to from your business.
    • Be ready to provide more info if they ask.
  • How They’ll Decide:
  • They’ll look at:
    • If you’re from a social equity or veteran background.
    • Your plans for safety, training, and fair work practices.
    • How you care for the environment and promote diversity.
    • Your financial situation and business plan.
  • Limited Licenses:
    • Minnesota only gives out a few licenses.
    • They might give priority to areas that need it most.
    • Make sure your application is strong.
  • Get Help if You Need It:
    • Consider working with a pro to improve your chances.
    • They can guide you through the process.

Types of Cannabis Business Licences in Minnesota:

Minnesota’s legalization bill offers various types of cannabis licenses, including:

  • Cultivation Licenses – Lets businesses grow, process, and package cannabis.
  • Retailer (dispensary) Licenses – Allow businesses to sell cannabis products to the public.
  • Processor Licenses – Authorizes businesses to extract cannabinoids from raw cannabis.
  • Testing Facility Licenses – Permits facilities to test cannabis products for safety.
  • Microbusiness & Mezzobusiness Licenses – Gives smaller business owners a chance to grow, process, and sell their products.
  • Delivery Services Licenses – Allows licensed sellers to deliver cannabis in approved areas.

These are just a few license options in Minnesota’s legalization bill. Applicants should know all their choices before choosing the best one for their business.

Cannabis License Chart:

cannabis licence chart in minnesota

How To Start A Cannabis Business In Minnesota?

Here’s a simplified and easy-to-read version of the steps to start a cannabis business in Minnesota:

Step 1: Getting Ready

  • Research
  • Look into the cannabis market in Minnesota.
  • Find out what customers like and need.
  • Understand the laws about cannabis in Minnesota.
  • Knowing Your Competition
  • Study other businesses like yours.
  • Learn from their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Choosing a Location
  • Pick a good place following the rules.
  • Think about safety, how close you are to customers, and if you can quickly get there.
  • Planning for Risks
  • Think about what could go wrong.
  • Make plans to handle those problems.
  • Building Connections
  • Talk to people who know about the business.
  • Go to events and join groups for cannabis businesses.
  • Making a Business Plan
  • Write a plan for your business.
  • Say who your customers are, how much money you’ll make, and how you’ll tell people about your business.
  • Gathering Documents
  • Get all your legal papers, financial records, and business papers together.
  • Write down what your business will do in detail.

Step 2: Applying for a License

  • How to Get a New License
  • Go to the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management website.
  • Fill in the form and send it with the papers they ask for.
  • Renewing Your License
  • Send in a new form before your license ends.
  • Pay the fee before you send the form.
  • Agent Cards for Employee
  • Know what your employees need to work with cannabis.
  • Make sure they meet the rules.
  • Applying for Employee Cards
  • Fill in the form for each employee.
  • Send in their ID and info for a background check.

Step 3: Paying Fees

  • Pay the fees for your license.
  • The cost depends on your business size and what kind of license you need.

Step 4: Reviewing Your Application and Inspection

  • After you send in your papers, officials will look at them.
  • They might visit your place to make sure you’re following the rules.
  • Look for insurance for your business to stay safe.
  • The first visit is free, but after that, it costs $250 each time.
  • After You Get Your License
  • Follow the rules to keep your license.
  • Update your plans as things change.
  • Keep learning about the business and evolving with it.
  • Application Instructions for First-Time Applicants:
  • Tailored instructions designed explicitly for first-time applicants seeking a hemp cultivation license in Minnesota.

Fee Structure for Minnesota Hemp License:

The exact cost of getting a Minnesota cannabis license is not known yet. However, it’s essential to understand that the application process will be challenging, and applicants will be judged on their business plans and finances. So, it’s vital to make a strong application and be ready to invest in what your cannabis business needs to succeed.

Once the license cost is set, we’ll inform our clients and help them get ready to apply quickly. These licenses are likely to be yearly. This is a chance to join Minnesota’s growing cannabis industry. Reach out to us now to learn more about applying for a license and how we can assist in building your successful cannabis business.

how to get a license to grow hemp in minnesota

Current Hemp Program Licence Holders:

Knowing the rules for growing hemp is essential if you have a license for Minnesota’s hemp program. Hemp is used for fabrics, paper, food, and fuel, making it attractive for cannabis businesses. However, following state and federal guidelines carefully is essential to avoid fines.

In Minnesota, growing industrial hemp is allowed, but selling or producing THC cannabis for recreational use is illegal. Businesses can’t get licenses for this. Breaking these laws can lead to up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

For those applying for a Minnesota cannabis license, understanding the difference between hemp and THC cannabis is crucial. Knowing the laws for each ensures that businesses stay legal and thrive in the long run.

Licensing for Different Scenarios:

Addressing common inquiries related to specific scenarios, such as growing hemp in greenhouses or selling seeds to other states.

Take Away

Minnesota’s hemp program, managed by the MDA and USDA, offers licenses for growing, selling, processing, testing, small businesses, and delivery services. To apply, Minnesota residents (at least 21 years old) must provide detailed information and follow cannabis rules, with fees ranging from $250 to $30,000. The state gives priority to areas that need licenses the most. Preparing involves researching the market, making a solid plan, and gathering the proper documents. After applying, officials will review and visit the business. Keeping up with rules and updating plans is crucial after getting a license. Extra help includes understanding fees, rules for current license holders, and specifics like growing in greenhouses. Success in Minnesota’s hemp industry comes from following rules, staying committed, and managing things well.

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