Industrial Hemp Information

Industrial hemp includes varieties of Cannabis sativa that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. Industrial hemp is commercially grown in virtually every industrialized country in the world, except the United States. The special varieties are grown for their seed and fiber content, as well as byproducts. Industrial hemp fiber is used for textiles, rope, paper and building products. Hemp seed is used for food, feed and oil. Hemp oil is also the basis for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks, lubrication, household detergents, stain removers, varnishes, resins, and paints. Industrial hemp may even prove significant in the biofuel industry.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Program

Federal law, specifically the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq, continues to prohibit the possession, cultivation, processing, or distribution of industrial hemp except for the limited purpose of agricultural or academic research conducted by a state department of agriculture or by an institution of higher education. 7 U.S.C. § 5940.


To avoid being in violation of Federal criminal law, a North Dakota industrial hemp pilot producer must be licensed in the state of ND and: (1) be part of an agricultural or academic research program conducted by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture or by an institution of higher education; and/or (2) obtain annually a registration issued by the DEA.


The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) created the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program to research the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp in North Dakota. The purpose of the pilot program is to increase the understanding of how industrial hemp fits into the current agricultural landscape, and investigate how it may contribute to the economy of North Dakota.

2018 Pilot Program Information

Industrial Hemp Meeting - Dec. 15, 2017

2017 Pilot Program Information

The NDDA requested industrial hemp research proposals in December of 2016. Proposals received on or before January 31, 2017 were reviewed and considered. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring approved 34 of the 42 proposals received.

Only processing facilities will be allowed to participate and gain licensure after the January 31, 2017 application deadline.

2016 NDDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Research Summary

Frequently Asked Questions

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Industrial Hemp Contacts

Rachel Seifert-Spilde

Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator
(701) 328-4128