Marijuana Business Magazine March 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | March 2019 132 For information about cannabis regulations in other markets, order the Marijuana Business Factbook at Hemp business regulations Producer Registry Restrictions on growing Sampling of state fees Although the state has not issued caps on the number of licensed producers or allowable acres, producers must submit fingerprints to pass a background check before they can be approved to cultivate hemp or hemp seeds. Additionally, the state has a tightly controlled list of approved hemp cultivars and requires seeds and clones to meet certain industry standards before planting. Despite passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Montana producers must register with the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp, and a separate license is required to sell hemp seed commercially. All varieties of hemp planted in the state must be approved by the Montana Department of Agriculture. Hemp seeds must be certified through the Association of Seed Certifying Agencies and meet Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development standards. Clones must meet the standards of the National Clean Plant Network. Unprocessed hemp may be used as forage for livestock, but processing hemp into commercial animal feed such as pet food, treats and snacks is not allowed. LICENSE Industrial hemp license: $50 annually; required to participate in pilot program Pilot program participant: $400 annually; required to purchase hemp seed  What to watch Depending on the results of 2018 crop reports, Montana’s 22,000 licensed acres could make it the largest hemp-producing state in the nation. Producers are keen to get involved, with 54 cultivators earning a license in 2018, a 385% increase from 14 producers the previous year. The state’s licensing application period for the 2019 growing season is open through May 1. Montana’s industrial hemp industry burst onto the scene in 2018, as regulators licensed 22,000 acres for hemp cultivation across the state—a 3,900% increase over 2017. Though the state suffers from a lack of hemp processors, Montana’s relatively low licensing fees, favorable agricultural conditions, supportive state authorities and absence of licensing caps have the Treasure State poised to compete in this newly legalized industry. Market AtA Glance | Montana: Hemp Photo by Tony Reid