Industrial Hemp - Department Now Accepting 2017 License Applications

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Industrial Hemp

Now Accepting Applications to Grow Industrial Hemp in 2017

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is currently accepting applications to grow industrial hemp for the 2017 growing season.  Applications can be obtained on the Industrial Hemp WebsiteApplications must be received by April 1.

Despite the recent referendum that legalized recreational marijuana, the licensing and THC testing requirements for growing industrial hemp remain unchanged.

Questions?  Contact Gary Fish at 207-287-7545 or email

Explanation of Industrial Hemp Licensing Fees

Maine law requires that the Department cover the costs of operating the industrial hemp program by charging an application fee, license fee and a per acre fee. These fees are as follows:

  • $100 application fee – this fee must be submitted with the application.
  • $500 license fee – this fee is due after approval of the application and must be submitted with the signed licensing agreement.
  • $50/acre fee – this fee is due after approval of the application and must be submitted with the signed licensing agreement.

Fees collected will cover Departmental costs including, but not limited to:

  • Inspector travel costs including time to and from the growing area to take crop samples for THC content analysis;
  • Costs of transporting crop samples to a lab for THC content analysis;
  • Laboratory fees for testing crop samples;
  • Costs of equipment and supplies used in sampling;
  • Departmental time reviewing applications, preparing licensing agreements and issuing licenses;
  • Other administrative costs

Please note that the fees charged will only cover THC testing for one composite sample taken to represent the entire licensed crop. Licensees that wish to have individual growing areas or varieties tested separately will be responsible for paying any additional laboratory costs.

Guidance on Submitting Proof of a Certified Seed Source

Maine law requires that industrial hemp be planted using a certified seed source. The industrial hemp rule (Chapter 274) defines a certified seed source as one that is certified according to AOSCA (Association of Seed Certifying Agencies) or other approved standards and comes from plants that were tested during the active growing season and found to produce industrial hemp with 0.3% THC content or less. The Department understands the very limited availability of industrial hemp seed and the certified seed source requirements are difficult or nearly impossible to meet. While the Department is required to verify and collect documents which indicate the industrial hemp seed planted comes from a certified seed source, at least for 2017, we can be somewhat flexible on the form this certification may take. Acceptable forms of certification could include a letter, form or other written verification or combination of these documents that at a minimum includes:

  • Third party (someone other than the applicant and the grower of the seed) THC content lab test results for the industrial hemp. The third party should be identified on the testing results;
  • THC content test results must be for the variety or varieties included on the application and preferably for the specific lot of seed to be planted;
  • Results of THC content testing and the date tests were conducted;
  • The name of the seed supplier and origin of the seed.

As industrial hemp seed certified by AOSCA, or other official seed certification programs becomes more available, the Department will review and revise our policies and issue stricter guidelines for acceptable documentation of seed certification.