Thank you for your interest in the North Dakota Industrial Hemp Program. We are in the process of compiling data for the 2018 Research Summary and will post that information shortly. Currently the ND Pilot Program is authorized and regulated by the 2014 Farm Bill and by the ND Century Code. You can find the current legislation that was recently signed into law here.

Hemp Licensing Process for 2019

Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they would not have regulations ready for growing hemp under the 2018 farm bill until the 2020 growing season. Therefore, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is required to operate under the 2014 farm bill regulations for the 2019 growing season. This means that all prospective hemp growers and processors will need to submit the following:

Step 1:

  • Hemp Pilot Project Proposal (SFN 60963)
  • Criminal History Record Check Request (SFN 60688)
  • 2 sets of fingerprints (list of locations)
  • $41.25 non-refundable check or money order made out to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture as payment for the background check

Once the proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Commissioner, and the results have been returned for the background check showing the applicant has not had a felony for a controlled substance in the past 10 years, the applicant will be notified to move on to Step 2 below. If you have previously submitted and passed a background check with the North Dakota hemp program, you do not need to submit one again this year.

Step 2: (forms will be sent to applicants who have successfully completed Step 1)

  • Hemp grower license application (SFN 58476) or hemp processor license application (SFN 61613)
  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Associated fees

Once all paperwork and fees have been successfully completed, the applicant will receive a hemp license and a fully executed copy of the MOU. The grower can then purchase hemp seed or propagative material.

Buying International Seed

The regulations for importing hemp seed into the U.S. have recently changed. This means that seed can be brought into the country without a DEA Import Permit. There may be other requirements for importing seed; please contact the seed distributor for more information.

Buying Domestic Seed

If a grower would like to purchase domestic seed, seed can be purchased and moved into North Dakota from any state; however, we urge caution in making purchases from a reputable source and that the variety is known to have delta-9 THC levels below 0.3%. Growers are not required to purchase certified seed. There were a few varieties of certified hemp seed growin in North Dakota last year. Please contact the North Dakota State Seed Department for information on these varieties.

Buying Hemp Clones

Clones or young hemp plants may be brought into the state. There are no additional requirements.

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 NDDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Research Summary

2017 NDDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Research Summary

2016 NDDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Research Summary

Subscribe to Industrial Hemp List Serve


Hemp Contacts

John Mortenson

Plant Protection Specialist
701-328-4128 jmortenson@nd.gov