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Hemp

Montana State Hemp Program

A hemp license is required to cultivate hemp in Montana, applicants must comply with Section 80-18-101 through 80-18-111 of MCA and ARM 4.19.101-202. A hemp license provides authorization for the production of hemp at a particular growing area by a particular individual or entity.


Notice: Montana's Hemp Plan Implementation  

The Montana State Hemp Program will continue operating under authorities provided for in the 2014 pilot program until January 2022, or until Congressional allowance lapses.  

The details of the state's 2021 plan can be found under Related Links. Licensed hemp growers are encouraged to review this plan to be aware of and understand the requirements and procedures related to licensure, sampling, testing for Total THC, reporting and enforcement.

Growing hemp within tribal reservation boundaries:

On January 15, 2021, USDA released its Final Rule on federal hemp regulations and the requirements that state and tribes must abide by to implement their own hemp plan. One of the more important updates is the clarification on jurisdiction regarding the licensing of hemp growers within tribal boundaries, effective immediately.

The state of Montana does not have authority over hemp grown within the boundaries of tribal reservations. That authority rests with the tribal nation on the reservation or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), depending on the status of the resident tribe’s hemp plan. Any person interested in growing hemp within reservation boundaries, whether a tribal member or not,  must contact their resident tribe or the USDA to request information on hemp licensing requirements.


NOTICE: Montana Hemp Grower List

Montana statute (Section 2-6-1017, MCA) does not allow for the distribution of licensees’ addresses, emails and phone numbers.  This statute also precludes FOIA requests.  The information that is allowed for distribution of the 2020 Montana Hemp Licenses can be found under Related Links of this webpage.

NOTICE: 2021 Licensing Application Period Now Open

Montana State Hemp License and Fees

The 2021 Indoor/Outdoor License is valid from the time of issuance until December 30, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted. Please note there will be no online application option for submission in 2021, the form must be mailed or emailed.

The department issues hemp licenses in (2) two progressive stages.  Upon approval of the initial application, eligible applicants will be issued a  Planting Permit so they may purchase seed or live plants, and seed or transplant hemp. To receive full licensure, the applicant  must submit a Planting Report confirming information about the crop(s) that was planted. Successful candidates will be issued the second stage  Production license. The Production license allows for the production and harvest of compliant hemp.  Any applicant that does not meet the conditions of the Production License will forfeit their Planting Permit and the crop(s) will require destruction.

Hemp License Application, Stage 1

The initial license application stage requires, entity information, key participant information, and verification of seed/live plant source. Additional requirements include payment in full of the nonrefundable application fee, and signatures acknowledging the Attestation Statement as well as the Risk Acknowledgment Statement. See detailed instructions and requirements within the Hemp License Application, Stage 1. Click here  to download the form.

Useful information associated with the Stage 1 licensing process:

  • The USDA Final Rule requires all license holders to report their hemp growing locations and acreage to the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Information on this requirement can be found in USDA’s Final Rule at https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp or by contacting your county FSA office.  A complete list of Montana local offices can be found at  https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Montana/index .
  • The department has developed four risk-based categories of hemp cultivars. The cultivar you choose will determine the level of review your application receives and the level of testing for your crop.  All cultivars that meet the definitions of Category A, B or C are allowed.
  • Cultivar and location changes made after the application is processed will be subject to a $50/request change fee.  Contact the hemp program technician Mikayla Moore by email at Mikayla.Moore@mt.gov to request the Change Request form.
  • Any company selling agricultural seed including hemp seed in Montana must have the required license under Section 80-5-101 through Section 80-5-144 MCA. 
  • SALE OF LIVE HEMP PLANT - The Department’s policy on the sale of live hemp plants requires both buyer and seller to be current hemp license holders, in addition to other requirements.          
  •  SOS business search link - https://biz.sosmt.gov/
  • AOSCA and the process of submitting seed for official certification, https://www.aosca.org/ .

Fees:

Licensees who plant a Category C cultivar are required to pay the $1,100 fee. This fee includes the initial inspection and testing of the first Category C sample. An additional $250 testing fee will be required for each additional sample and an additional $250 inspection/sampling fee will be required for each additional inspection.

Licensees who plant only Category A or B varieties are required to pay the $850 fee. The initial inspection fee and the first sample testing fee is waived under Montana’s Pilot Program. Additional inspection and testing fees will apply as outlined above.

Regardless of Category planted, growers who request sampling (e.g., insurance claim) will be charged the standard $250 inspection fee and the standard $250 testing fee.

The department may assess a processing fee of $100 for any late or incomplete documentation associated with the licensing process and a change fee of $50 for a request for each new cultivar or location associated with a previously processed license application.


Stage Two Application Process

Applicants who receive the initial Planting Permit must submit the Hemp Planting Report, whether a crop was planted or not.  Click here  to download the form, online submission is not available.  Please see instructions below for due dates and specific information required to receive the Production License.  Mail or email to the address listed on the report.

To receive full licensure, the applicant  must submit a Planting Report confirming finalized information about the planted crop(s). Successful candidates will be issued the  Production license. The  Production license allows for production and harvest of compliant hemp. Production license certificates will be issued to eligible applicants so they can provide verification of location and variety while growing, transporting and for sale purposes. 

Hemp Planting Report due dates:

Indoor and Outdoor crops:

  • Within 4 weeks after planting seeds, receiving starter-plants, or rooting of clones
    • If a crop, Lot, or a certain variety/strain was not planted, report “Not Planted”
    • If a crop, Lot, or a certain variety/strain failed and will not be harvested, report “Crop Failed”
  • For Outdoor crops, the Hemp Planting Report is due no later than July 30 th.
  • Late or incomplete submissions are susceptible to a $100 processing fee.
  • The Hemp Planting Report must be received and approved before the Production license can be issued.  Allow approximately 3 - 4 weeks for processing.

Planting Report Submission Guidance: If a grower has multiple plantings per year separated by more than 4-weeks, multiple Planting Reports will be required.  Within 4 weeks of planting seeds, receiving starter-plants, or rooting of clones, the license holder must submit a Planting Report.  Plants that are never intended to be harvested must also be reported, including mother plants and plants that are intended to be sold as live plants.

Harvest Notification - Each license holder is responsible for contacting the department a minimum of 30 days prior to harvest to confirm actual harvest date and schedule an inspection within 3-weeks pre-harvest.  The license holder may contact either the Helena office or their district field office.  The inspection date will be coordinated between the grower and the inspector, see contact list below for all district inspectors. All Category C strains must be inspected and sampled.  Only a percentage of Category A and B varieties require inspection, but the harvest date of all Lots must be confirmed ; the inspector will determine which Category A and B Lots require sampling.  Crops harvested without notification, regardless of Category, are subject to destruction.

Contact either your district hemp inspector or the Helena office to schedule your inspection a minimum of 30 days prior to harvest

Screenshot-2021-02-03-133628-B.png

Hemp Inspectors

Billings

Margaret Misner

(406) 652-3616

Margaret.Misner@mt.gov

Bozeman

Ryan Solberg

(406) 556-4535

RSolberg@mt.gov

Conrad

Dawn Bales

(406) 278-9120

DBales@mt.gov

Forsyth

Lori Vance

(406) 346-5483

LVance@mt.gov

Glasgow

Robyn Cassel

(406) 228-8012

RCassel@mt.gov

Great Falls

Jeff Drummond

(406) 761-0926

JDrummond@mt.gov

Helena

Mikayla Moore

(406) 444-5430

Mikayla.Moore@mt.gov

Kalispell

Taylor Cline

(406) 257-9014

Taylor.Cline@mt.gov

Missoula

Laurie Neuman

(406) 329-1345

LNeuman@mt.gov

Fees:

No fees are required with the Planting Report.  Any additional inspection or testing fees will be invoiced after the testing has been completed.

A license holder that requires multiple sampling events (due to extended or multiple harvest dates, lack of or incorrect harvest date reporting, or requests for subsequent Lot sampling) will be responsible for additional sampling/testing fees, regardless of the variety Category.


Notice: Applications for Hemp Advisory Committee Now Being Accepted

Click here to view/download the Montana Hemp Advisory Committee Application Form

For additional information please contact Dani Jones at (406) 444-2402 or email hempinfo@mt.gov.


Hemp News

Related Links

  2021 Montana Hemp Production List 9/14/2021
  2021 Montana Hemp Pilot Program Plan
  2021 Montana Hemp Planting Permit List Updated 5/27/2021
  Annual Hemp Assessment & Movement Report 2020(Growers)
  2020 Montana Hemp Production License List (pdf format) Updated 8/10/2020
  2020 Montana Hemp Planting License List (.pdf format)  Updated 8/13/20
  Montana DPHHS Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol Policy for Foods (.pdf format) Please confirm with DPHHS to ensure that this is the most current draft of this guidance document available.
  DPHHS Guidance Document - Food and Consumer Safety - When do claims relating to health for conventional foods render the food a drug? (.pdf format) Please confirm with DPHHS to ensure that this is the most current draft of this guidance document available.
  Requirements for the Sale of Live Hemp Plants (.pdf format)
FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products: Questions and Answers
  USDA decision to allow Organic Certification for hemp (.pdf format)
  USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Industrial Hemp Page
  List of Health Canada Approved Cultivars - Cannabis sativa L.
  Alberta Industrial Hemp Enterprise Website
  Pest Management Practices for Hemp Growers in Montana
  U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Letter re: Substances Defined as Hemp No Longer Require DEA Registration as a Controlled Substance
  FDA-CBD Report – Current Regulatory Environment

Montana Code

Montana Alternative Agricultural Crops (Hemp) Act - Montana Code and Administrative Rules: An unofficial compilation of the state’s regulations related to the Montana Hemp Program

MCA 80-18-1: Industrial Hemp


Montana Licensed Hemp Seed Providers

Click here to see the current list of hemp seed providers licensed to distribute into Montana.  This list is subject to change and will be updated periodically.  The department is providing this list as a service to Montana hemp license applicants.  It is not an endorsement, recommendation or guarantee of the company’s seed in regard to germination, purity or THC levels.

Research License

The research license application is now available. In the context of this license, ‘research’ means “growing hemp in a manner which the resulting hemp may not conform to the USDA guidelines in some manner. This includes but is not limited to the use of a pesticide not approved for hemp, efforts to lower a cultivar’s THC level through hybridization, or development of new cultivars which are not from certified seed. Research must be conducted with the intent of improving or expanding upon the genetics and/or cultivation practices of hemp”. This license is required in addition to the standard hemp grower license.

Click here to view the Hemp Research License Information Sheet . If a person is interested or believes they require the research license, contact Hemp Program personnel to discuss your operation and plans. Please be prepared to provide an explanation of your project goals, varieties or strains, and the segment of the industry that will benefit from your research.  Applications are available only upon request.


There are many components to the emerging hemp industry and differentiation between programs within the Department of Agriculture.  Depending on the subject matter of your interest, please contact the appropriate person(s) listed below:

Contacts

Topic

Contact

Phone

Email

Hemp Program (general)

Andy Gray

(406) 444-0512

Angray@mt.gov

Hemp Grower Licensing

Mikayla Moore

(406) 444-5430

Mikayla.Moore@mt.gov

Hemp Processor Licensing

Andy Fjeseth

(406) 444-3571

AFjeseth@mt.gov

Marketing  

Weston Merrill

(406) 558-9880

Weston.Merrill@mt.gov

Seed (distribution) Licensing

Bob Ballensky

(406) 444-3950

BBallensky@mt.gov

Commodity Dealer Licensing

Bob Ballensky

(406) 444-3950

BBallensky@mt.gov

Approved Types of Products in the Montana Hemp Program

The Montana Department of Agriculture does not regulate the production or sale of food, drugs, health supplements, or cosmetics.  FDA did not object to Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) petitions for hulled hemp seed (GRN765), hemp seed protein powder (GRN771), and hemp seed oil (GRN778). A recent FDA statement from December 20, 2018 on Cannabis products can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm628988.htm

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has published a guidance document on “Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol Policy for Foods”.


Non-Approved Types of Products in the Montana State Hemp Program

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Hemp is a multi-purpose agricultural crop delivering seeds, fibers and bio-active chemicals for a number of uses and markets. Hemp is defined in federal and Montana statute as Cannabis sativa L. that contains no greater than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is authorized as an alternative agricultural crop by the Montana Legislature, Section 80-18-101 through 80-18-111 of Montana Code Annotated. Hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant and may look very similar under similar growing conditions.

A: Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa L., that have developed due to selective breeding. The plant family Cannabaceae, that contains both hemp and marijuana, also includes the hops plant which is used in the brewing process. By both federal and state law, hemp must contain no greater than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) on a dry weight basis.

hemp and marijuana

Hemp

Marijuana

Bred for its fiber and seed oil

Bred for its psychoactive properties (THC)

A: THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the component of marijuana that has psychoactive properties.

A: No, hemp has very low levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Hemp is required by law to have no greater than 0.3% THC. Current marijuana Cannabis varieties are between 10-30% THC.

A: Yes, guidelines issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on August 23, 2016, authorize hemp to be certified as organic. Hemp must follow the same requirements (Click here for more on Organic Certification in Montana) as other crops certified in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). More information on organic certification for hemp is available from USDA AMS by clicking here.

A: Yes, new guidelines issued from the federal government, through USDA’s National Institute of Feed and Agriculture (NIFA), clarify how universities and colleges may be able to apply for federal funding to study hemp agriculture. More information on this topic can be found by visiting: https://nifa.usda.gov/industrial-hemp.

Licensing:

A: Yes. The 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions transferred regulatory authority from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA guidelines still require licensing of hemp growers and hemp growing locations by USDA, Tribal Sovereign Nation, State Department of Agriculture or University. In Montana, the State Department of Agriculture issues licenses for growing hemp under the authority in 80-18-101 through 80-18-111, MCA. The state of Montana does not have authority over hemp grown within the boundaries of tribal reservations. That authority rests with the tribal nation on the reservation or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), depending on the status of the resident tribe’s hemp plan. Any person interested in growing hemp within reservation boundaries, whether a tribal member or not,  must contact their resident tribe or the USDA to request information on hemp licensing requirements.

A: No, applicants are not required to be residents of Montana.

A: Due to restricted access to obtain fingerprint documentation caused by the COVID-19 emergency, the Montana Department of Agriculture waives the requirement for FBI Identity History Summary documentation for 2021 hemp license applicants and key participants. This does not exempt applicants from the federal requirement of having no prior convictions of felony drug charges in the last 10 years.

Growing Hemp:

A: Yes, the approval process for clones of hemp plants is the same as for seed of new hemp varieties. Additionally, approval of clones may be subject to standards like those of other National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) crops propagated from plant cutting, grafting, or division.

A: Yes, but the landowner’s signature is required on the Planting Report in the second stage of licensing.

A: No minimum or maximum field sizes are being considered at this time. Before determining the size of your hemp crop, you may consider researching hemp processors and markets to avoid growing more hemp than can be sold. A list of licensed processors in Montana can be found at https://agr.mt.gov/HempProcessors.

CBD

A: The Montana Department of Agriculture does not regulate the production or sale of food, drugs, health supplements, or cosmetics. A recent FDA Statement, from December 20, 2018, on Cannabis products can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm628988.htm.

A: The Montana Department of Agriculture does not regulate the production or sale of food, drugs, health supplements, or cosmetics. The FDA states, “When a product is in violation of the FD&C Act, FDA considers many factors in deciding whether or not to initiate an enforcement action. Those factors include, among other things, agency resources and the threat to the public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and state partners in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.” A recent FDA statement, from December 20, 2018, on Cannabis products can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm628988.htm.

Hemp Seed:

A: There are several international and US-based seed companies that sell certified hemp seed. Montana Department of Agriculture does not have a list of all current hemp seed companies in the world. Growers are encouraged to do extensive research and required to purchase only from licensed seed dealers.

A: Yes, all entities that sell agricultural seed in Montana are required to follow the requirements of the Montana Seed Act. At a minimum, hemp seed sellers must have a Montana Seed Labeler license. More information about the seed program and licensing requirements are available on the Montana Department of Agriculture's Seed Program web page at: https://agr.mt.gov/Seed-Program.

A: Yes, licensees can plant any seed reasonably believed to produce hemp. Seed varieties not previously grown in Montana or ASOCA/OECD certified are considered category C varieties and are grown at the licensee’s own risk. All category C varieties are required to be tested for Total THC three weeks prior to harvest.

Feed:

A: Hemp is not an approved commercial feed ingredient under the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) regulations and cannot be manufactured into commercial livestock feed.  However,  as a result of HB 396 signed into law during the 2021 Legislative Session, some uses are allowed in pet, specialty pet and horse feed. See full details in the department’s HEMP AND CANNABIDIOL POLICY FOR USE IN ANIMAL FEED. Contact the Montana Department of Agriculture Feed Program with questions about feeding hemp products to animals: https:/agr.mt.gov/Topics/E-G/Feed-Pages/Hemp-in-Feed.

A: The Montana Department of Agriculture does not regulate the production or sale of food, drugs, health supplements, or cosmetics. Hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil have been granted Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status by the FDA and are widely available in products at retail stores across Montana. A recent FDA statement, from December 20, 2018, on Cannabis products can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm628988.htm.

Montana Hemp Advisory Committee

Hemp Advisory Committee
◆ Rob Klingaman    Harlem, MT   (406) 390-2491
◆ Kim Philips   Helena, Mt   (406) 221-6075
◆ Jackee Beck   Deer Lodge, MT   (406) 560-5422
◆ Bart Icopini   Hysham, MT   (406) 690-8567
◆ Jamie Fitterrer   Bozeman, MT    (406) 599-0731
◆ Arlin Frantzke   Stevensville, MT   (406) 777-1577
◆ Ken Elliott   Fort Benton, MT    (406) 289-0019
◆ Perry Miller   Bozeman, MT    (406) 994-5431
◆ Christy Clark   Helena, MT   (406) 444-3144

Contacts

Andy Gray
Hemp Program Coordinator

Phone : (406) 444-0512
E-mail : angray@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
Mikayla Moore
Hemp Program Technician
Phone
: (406) 444-5430
E-mail :
Mikayla.Moore@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
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