Massachusetts Hemp Law
To grow hemp in Massachusetts, you are required to have a permit. Section 7076 of the 2014 Farm Bill Authorized the creation of Agriculture Pilot Programs by authorized state departments. On July 28, 2017, Governor Baker signed H.3818, an Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana. Therefore, current applicants to grow hemp in Massachusetts must submit applications as research partners under this act. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is currently only licensing growing and processing activities related to hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill classified hemp as an agricultural commodity rather than a Schedule 1 drug. Additionally, this bill established that States and Indian tribes may not prohibit the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp lawfully produced under a State or Tribal plan, under a license issued under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plan, or under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill).
How to Obtain a Massachusetts Hemp License:
- In order to plant, grow, harvest, process, or sell Industrial Hemp in Massachusetts, a person must obtain a license from the Department of Agricultural Resources.
- Along with your application, you must also submit your application fee by check or money order payable to “Commonwealth of Massachusetts”
- Grower's application fees are non-refundable and $100
- Processor's application fees are non-refundable and $300
- Dual grower/ processor application fees are non-refundable and $500
- You must provide a map for each growing and/or processing site. Find instructions here.
- If you are not the property owner, you must download, complete, and notarize the property owner statement form and submit it with your application. Find this form here.
- You must mail your application and application fee to:
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Hemp Program
251 Causeway Street; Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
Attn: Sarah Grubin
If Your Application is Approved:
An additional license fee is also required before you are issued your Grower or Processor license. The Grower license fee is $300/ year; the Processor license fee is $300/ year; the Grower and Processor Dual license fee is $500/ year. All licenses will expire on December 31stof the year it was issued.
How to Renew:
Renewal application must be submitted between October 1stand November 15th prior to the expiration of your current license.
Non-exhaustive list of reasons your application can be denied
- failure to comply with this Policy or other statutes or regulations that govern the operation;
- problematic site location; or
- failure to provide additional information reasonably requested by the Department.
If Your Application or Renewal is Denied:
You have the option to appeal no later than 21 days after the receipt of the notice. Such request must be submitted in writing to the Department. Then, an adjudicatory hearing shall be conducted in accordance of M.G.L. c. 30A.
No matter what aspect of the hemp industry you intend to participate in, the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. are able to help you navigate the in-flux hemp laws.