Updated: April 3, 2020

General Questions

The following information is provided as a guide and is not a legal interpretation of the Industrial Hemp Law.

What are some of the uses of industrial hemp?

There are numerous uses for industrial hemp. Some of those include: fibrous stem products (paper products, molded plastics, textiles, construction materials, etc.); seed products (food products for human consumption, culinary oil, body care products, fuel, etc.) and floral/foliar products (CBD extracts).

What is viable industrial hemp? How is industrial hemp regulated under Missouri Law?

Viable industrial hemp is plant material capable of living or growing, including agricultural hemp seeds and propagules (transplants, cuttings, or clones). Viable hemp materials fall under the regulatory authority of the Department of Agriculture.

Nonviable industrial hemp is plant material or hemp grain that is not capable of living or growing. Nonviable hemp materials (fiber, grain, etc.) are classified as publically marketable products and do not fall under the regulation of the Department of Agriculture.

The use of hemp in animal and consumer products may be regulated by other entities.

What is THC? How is THC measured in Missouri? (Delta-9 THC or Total THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound found within Cannabis plants. Delta-9 THC is a form of THC and is the primary psychoactive component of Cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A) is another form of THC which converts into Delta-9 THC.

To determine compliance, Missouri utilizes the calculated Total THC or Delta-9 THC measured post-decarboxylation.

  • Total THC calculates the potential conversion of THC-A into Delta-9 THC by utilizing the formula: Measured Delta-9 THC + (Measured THC-A * 0.877)
  • Decarboxylation processes conducted by the testing laboratory accounts for the actual conversion of THC-A into Delta-9 THC

Can hemp or hemp products, including CBD and grain, be used for animal consumption (pet, livestock, and poultry)?

Animal and pet foods ingredients must be approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials. According to the AAFCO, hemp has not been approved for use as an ingredient for animal or pet foods.

Are there USDA programs available for hemp growers?

Persons may be eligible for many USDA programs. More information is available on USDA’s website.

Application Questions

When and how can I apply to grow industrial hemp in Missouri?

Applications are open year-round. There is not an application deadline, or a limit on the number of registrations or permits issued. Application forms and submission instructions are available on the Applications tab.

What are the basic requirements for a registration or permit?

If applying as an individual, the applicant must be a Missouri resident. If applying as an entity or business, an individual must be listed in the ‘applicant’ section as the primary point of contact, and the entity must be domiciled in Missouri, as evidenced with registration by the Secretary of State in Missouri.

For a Producer Registration, the applicant and all key participants must complete a state and federal criminal history fingerprint background check, and be clear of any controlled substance-related felonies in the last ten years. More details and guidance documents are available in the Background Check section on the Applications tab.

The application must include information about the parcel of land for planned operations. This includes the physical address, legal land description, GPS coordinates, size of the parcel, and a map of the location. More details and guidance documents are available in the Mapping section on the Applications tab.

What registrations and/or permits do I need for industrial hemp in Missouri?

Depending on your specific operation, you may be required to obtain one or both of the following for each operating site:

Producer Registration: Authorizes a person to grow, produce, or cultivate industrial hemp on their registered site. Once approved, these persons are authorized to sell their harvested, nonviable products once they are confirmed to have an acceptable hemp THC level.

  • This registration is required for the production of industrial hemp at any scale and for any purpose.

Agricultural Hemp Propagule and Seed Permit: Authorizes a person to sell, distribute, or offer for sale any viable industrial hemp in Missouri, including propagules (transplants, cuttings, clones, seedlings, etc.) or seed on their permitted site. This permit is not required for the sale of nonviable hemp products such as baled fiber stalks, denatured grain, and dried, seedless floral material.

  • Any authorized permit holder who holds or stores any agricultural hemp propagules for more than 48 hours is considered a producer and will be required to obtain a Producer Registration.
  • A Missouri industrial hemp permit is not required for out-of-state persons to sell industrial hemp into Missouri unless they have an in-state presence, such as a brick-and-mortar location (even if not open to the public) or in-person sales or distribution within the state. However, if those businesses sell any other types of seed into Missouri, regardless of in-state presence, they are required to obtain a general Missouri seed permit to sell those products.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture does not regulate nonviable hemp, and does not issue licenses specifically for processing, extraction, nonviable sales, transportation, or handling. The use of hemp or hemp derivatives in animal and consumer products may be regulated by other governmental programs or entities on the state or federal level.

What if I have multiple sites? Will I need more than one registration or permit?

Possibly. If the sites are contiguous (sharing a border) and owned by the same person, the sites can be included in the same application using the Supplemental Parcel Attachment found on the Applications tab. Evidence of contiguity and same-ownership must be provided in the application packet. If the sites are either not contiguous or are not owned by the same person, the sites must be applied for separately, with separate fees.

Are there fees to participate in the industrial hemp program?

Yes. The application fee is $750 per application. Once approved, a registration or permit is valid for three (3) years with continued compliance. To maintain the registration or permit, persons must submit an annual fee of $750 per registration or permit. All fees are nonrefundable. Other fees may arise to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, including inspection, sampling, and destruction fees. Additionally, persons may elect to hire other persons or entities to complete services necessary to comply with state and federal rules.

Are there any zoning, setback or security requirements for the land I’m planning to use for industrial hemp production?

Under statute, indoor industrial hemp production cannot occur within a residential structure. There are no security requirements such as fencing, cameras, or signage for this program. You are encouraged to contact your local government for interpretation of municipal ordinances and regulations.

Registered Producer and Permit Holder Questions

What are my responsibilities if I am approved to receive an industrial hemp registration or permit?

Registrations and permits are valid for three (3) years with continued compliance and submission of annual fees. Persons receiving a Producer Registration or Agricultural Hemp Propagule and Seed Permit must follow the requirements as outlined by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Sections 195.010 through 195.773 RSMo, and any successor laws and rule. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Payment of fees
  • Cooperation with audits and on-site inspections
  • Required reporting (includes FSA planting report and MDA Lot Identification Form)
  • Maintenance of required recordkeeping
  • Submission of Certificates of Analysis for all tested compliance samples

How will my crop be sampled?

Every lot (contiguous field, greenhouse, or other site growing a single variety) must be sampled within fifteen (15) days prior to harvest by a Certified Industrial Hemp Sampler. A Sampling Protocol is available on the Certified Industrial Hemp Samplers tab.

Who is a Certified Industrial Hemp Sampler?

A Certified Industrial Hemp Sampler is an individual who is authorized to collect industrial hemp samples in accordance with the MDA Sampling Protocol. Certified Industrial Hemp Samplers cannot sample for a registration in their name, in their employer’s name, or in which they are a key participant. More information and a list of Certified Industrial Hemp Samplers can be found on the Certified Industrial Hemp Samplers tab.

What testing laboratories can I use?

Producers are responsible for selecting a testing laboratory that fulfills all applicable laws.

For the 2020 growing season, Registered Producers may select a testing laboratory that is DEA-registered or ISO 17025 accredited. Laboratories do not have to be within Missouri, but carrier policies should be reviewed prior to shipping.

A list of DEA-registered labs is available from USDA at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp/dea-laboratories. There is not currently a comprehensive list available for ISO 17025 accredited laboratories, but labs will often have their accreditation status posted online or available upon request.

How will my crop be tested? How do I know if it is compliant?

A compliance sample analysis that is at or below 0.3% Total THC, within a margin of error, is considered compliant in Missouri. Some laboratories will include a “Pass” or “Fail” determination on their results. See below for further explanation.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is measured as outlined in state and federal rule. THC is measured post-decarboxylation or other similarly reliable methods that consider the conversion of THC-A, or total THC calculations, and are approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Methods that meet these requirements include gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography.

A compliant sample will have an “acceptable hemp THC level” based on the laboratory-calculated “measurement of uncertainty”, which is similar to a margin of error.

From USDA: “For example, if a laboratory reports a result as 0.35% with a measurement of uncertainty of +/- 0.06, the distribution or range is 0.29% to 0.41%. Because 0.3% is within that distribution or range, the sample, and the lot it represents, is considered [compliant]. However, if the measurement of uncertainty for that sample was 0.02%, the distribution or range is 0.33% to 0.37%. Because 0.3% or less is not within that distribution or range, the sample is not considered hemp for the purpose of plan compliance, and the lot it represents will be subject to disposal.”

Do I have to submit my test results?

Yes. Certificates of analysis for all samples used to determine compliance must be submitted to the department, preferably via email to reporting.hemp@mda.mo.gov. Registered producers have three (3) days to submit non-compliant “fail” results and thirty (30) days to submit compliant “pass” results. Laboratories may submit results on your behalf, but it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure program staff receives it.

What happens if my sample tests above the acceptable hemp THC level?

Producers must notify the Department of all test results demonstrating non-compliance by submitting the certificate(s) of analysis within three (3) business days of receipt, preferably via email to reporting.hemp@mda.mo.gov.

Producers may request the laboratory to retest their sample, and immediately notify the Department in writing (including via email to reporting.hemp@mda.mo.gov) of their intent to retest. While selecting a laboratory, producers should identify the laboratory’s timeline for retaining samples for potential retesting. The Department does not require laboratories to retain samples, but suggests they retain samples for a period of fifteen (15) days after the initial testing is completed and the producer is notified of results.

If no retest is requested or the retest also exceeds the acceptable hemp THC level, the Department will issue an Order of Destruction. Producers will then be required to destroy their crop in accordance with MDA Destruction Protocol, and are responsible for all associated costs. Missouri State Highway Patrol or local law enforcement must certify the destruction, and producers will be invoiced for a certification fee. Producers then have thirty (30) days to submit a destruction report to MDA.

Can pesticides be used on industrial hemp?

The EPA has approved some pesticide labels for use on industrial hemp. Those labels are listed here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/pesticide-products-registered-use-hemp

Pesticide labels must also be registered in Missouri prior to use in Missouri. As of April 1, 2020, many, but not all, EPA-approved pesticides were registered in Missouri and therefore approved for appropriate use on industrial hemp in Missouri.

Specific labels can be searched to evaluate state registration status here: https://apps.mda.mo.gov/moplants/ProductRegFSA/BrandSearch.aspx

Where will I be able to buy hemp seed or propagules?

Once a producer has an approved registration they may purchase seed or propagules from:

Missouri does not have an approved variety list or require certified seed.

Where will I be able to sell the commodity?

The Department only has regulatory authority over viable hemp plants and seeds. It is recommended to secure a market for your commodity prior to planting.