NOTICE: Licensing IS Now Open for 2020
Montana State Hemp License and Fees
Hemp growers in the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) do not need to apply for a MT State Hemp License. Instead, these growers will license through the Fort Belknap Agriculture Office. The FBIC’s plan was approved by the USDA on January 27, 2020. Please refer to the Fort Belknap Indian Community website for more information or call (406) 353-2205. Any person applying for a license to grow hemp within the boundaries of any tribal reservation must contact the corresponding tribe for permission and/or to determine whether to apply with the state or the tribe.
The hemp license application period is open through April 30,2020. The 2020 Indoor/Outdoor License is valid from the time of issuance until April 30, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted. Click here to download the current application form, or click here to complete the application online.
Growers are encouraged to review the second stage requirements listed below to ensure all conditions are understood before applying for the Planting license. Any applicant that does not meet the conditions of the Production License will forfeit their Planting License and the crop(s) will require destruction.
The department issues hemp licenses in (2) two progressive stages. Upon approval of the initial application, eligible applicants will be issued a Planting license so they may purchase seed or live plants and plant or propagate 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.
Initial License Application Stage
The initial license application stage requires, entity information, key participant information, verification of seed/live plant source, and crop information. Additional requirements include payment in full of the $850 nonrefundable application fee, a signature acknowledging the Attestation Statement as well as the Risk Acknowledgment Statement, and a background check for new applicants.
The application must be completed in its entirety. If the applicant is a business, the Business License Number on file with the Montana Secretary of State’s (SOS) office must be provided as well as an EIN number. A Business Name is only required if you are licensing a registered business.
List the Key Participant’s full name, titles, phone numbers and emails for each person involved in the management of hemp for your operation. Key Participants are defined as “officers of the company and/or the person(s) responsible for management decisions regarding the crop” (i.e. planting date, seeding rate, pesticide or fertilizer applications, timing of harvest, etc.).
Hemp program participation requires no prior convictions of felony drug charges in the previous 10 years. FBI Identity History Summarys are required for all new applicants and all key participants for new applications. Montana has adopted the USDA process for submission of background documentation.
The FBI Identity History Summary, must be received for new applicants no later than April 30, 2020. Do not send your fingerprints to the Montana Department of Agriculture. The basic process for submission includes:
- Obtain fingerprints through appropriate channels and proper forms
- Submit to FBI as outlined on their website
- Submit the Identity History Summary to the Department by April 30th
- The Hemp License Application is not considered complete until the Identity History Summary is received.
More information on this process is available of the FBI website: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks. The FBI Identity History Summary must be current and have been completed within 60 days of submission of this application. If the FBI Identity History Summary reveals that the applicant or a key participant has a felony conviction related to a controlled substance under State or Federal law that occurred within 10 years of the application, the applicant cannot participate in the Montana Hemp Program in 2020.
Seed/Live Plant Source and Verification:
The department has developed four risk-based categories of hemp varieties. The variety you choose will determine the level of review your application receives and the level of testing of your crop. All varieties that meet the definitions of Category A, B or C are allowed. Visit the Hemp Varieties section of this page for more information on hemp categories and the complete list of Category A and B varieties.
Each variety of hemp will be reviewed by the department prior to issuance of the hemp license. The application must include for each variety the name and license number of the seed provider or nursery, and an indication of your purchase: Seed or Live Plants. A copy of the seed label (provided to you by the seed provider) is required for each Category A and B variety. For Category C varieties, a copy of the seed label or the Certificate of Analysis (COA) is required.
The person providing seed and/or live plants to the grower must be licensed to distribute into the state. Seed providers must be licensed in Montana; nurseries must be licensed in their resident state. Growers who purchase live plants must submit a copy of the provider’s resident state nursery license and hemp license and verification of variety (nursery label, seed label or COA). Growers need to be aware and inform live plant providers that importation of live plants into Montana must meet plant sanitary requirements, including proof that plants are free from Japanese Beetle infestation. For more information on these requirements, please visit our website at https://agr.mt.gov/Topics/Seed or https://agr.mt.gov/Nursery-Program.
As applicable to your operation, indicate the desired primary market, number of varieties for each grow type (Outdoor/Greenhouse/Indoor) and the associated quantity (acres/sq. ft./plants).
Attestation Statement/Risk Acknowledgement:
The applicant’s signature on the Attestation Statement verifies all application information is true and correct, that the applicant will comply with state and federal regulations and accepts all conditions of the Risk Acknowledgement Statement.
A check or money order for $850 must be enclosed along with the application. Checks can be made to the Montana Department of Agriculture. Please include license number in the check memo if previously licensed. Applicants who plant any Category C Varieties will have additional fees due along with the Planting Report in the second stage of the hemp license process.
Application must be mailed to:
Montana Department of Agriculture- Hemp Program
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 59620-0201
Note: Applications will not be processed until all required information is received.
Second License Application Stage
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.
Mandatory information reporting requirements will include:
- Variety - List each variety separately by Lot
- Latitude/Longitude (the point should be near the center of the Lot, field, or structure)
- An overview map must be included that shows all locations relative to each other and the nearest municipality.
- A separate map must be included showing the boundaries of the Lot(s), and identifying the Lot number, variety and the grow area size for each Lot.
- For multiple Lots contained in a greenhouse or indoor structure, the map need only identify the location of the structure.
- Maps using the satellite view on Google Maps works well. FSA farm maps are also accepted.
- Quantity of Growing Area - List the quantity for Outdoor as Acres, Greenhouse as Sq. Ft. and Indoor as Plants.
- Estimated Harvest Date - Specify the estimated date or week of harvest. The department must sample within a 3-week period prior to harvest. This information is critical to scheduling resources and for assuring the crop is sampled per protocol. Compliant sample results are required for the sale of Category C varieties.
- Landowner Name/Signature - Signatures are required of each legal landowner (or an authorized agent) for each property used to grow hemp. Rented or leased property must have the actual land owner signature. If the licensee owns the land, their signature is required.
Hemp Planting Report due dates:
- Outdoor crops - within 4 weeks of seeding or planting, but no later than July 15.
- Greenhouse and Indoor crops - within 4 weeks of seeding, planting, propagation, or receipt of live plants.
Greenhouse and Indoor Grow Submission Requirements:
If a grower has multiple crops per year, a Planting Report is due for each crop. A crop is defined as “a group of plants in a similar stage of growth” (example: plants flowering on March 1 would be a different crop than plants flowering on June 1). Plants not intended to be harvested must also be reported, including mother plants or any clones/live plants intended to be sold. Click here to see Montana’s Requirements for the Sale of Live Plants policy.
If one or more Category C varieties are planted, a $250 planting fee is required with the Planting Report submission. This initial $250 fee covers the cost for the first Category C sampled. For each additional Category C sample collected and tested, you will be invoiced an additional $250.
Any applicant that does not meet the conditions of the Production License will forfeit their Planting license and the crop will require destruction. Harvesting hemp without a state issued Production license is a violation of state and federal law.