Hemp is a multi-purpose agricultural crop delivering seeds, fibers and bio-active chemicals for a number of uses and markets. Industrial hemp is defined in federal and Montana statute as Cannabis sativa L. that contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Industrial hemp is authorized as an alternative agricultural crop by the Montana Legislature, Section 80-18-101 through 80-18-111 of Montana Code Annotated.
This law provides a framework for commercial industrial hemp production in Montana following approval by the federal government. Provisions added to the 2014 Farm Bill (Section 7606) defined industrial hemp under federal law and recognized state agricultural departments' authority to develop research pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation, and/or marketing of industrial hemp.
Montana Industrial Hemp Pilot Program
Industrial hemp may be grown in Montana only by the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) through the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program or by institutions of higher education in Montana for agricultural or academic research. Only seed purchased from the Pilot Program seed repository or ordered from a DEA-approved source can legally be planted in Montana. Industrial hemp is currently regulated as a Schedule I Controlled Substance by the federal government. Persons who violate state or federal laws regarding hemp may be subject to federal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Refer to the DEA website for more information.
Applicants must agree to comply with Section 80-18-101 through 80-18-111 of MCA and ARM 4.19.101-106, adopted on March 10, 2017. An industrial hemp license is required prior to planting hemp seeds in Montana.
The 2018 application period for the Montana Industrial Hemp Pilot Program is now open. Completed applications are due by January 31st, 2018.