Hemp Program News-Licensing reminder, new handbook available, and more

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Hemp Program

New Hemp Handbook

We have a new publication, Hemp Handbook-Licensing and Agronomy Primer for Growers, that explains hemp licensing in detail and includes pointers about growing this crop. Please check it out before you apply for a license. We want to keep this handbook relevant for Maine growers so if there is content you want to see in future editions, please let us know.

Get a Hemp License

If you want to grow hemp, you need a license. The only exemption to licensing is if you grow up to 3 hemp plants for personal use; nothing from these plants can be sold or made into products for sale. If you want to make something from your plants to sell, you need to license. Everything you need to apply for a license is on the hemp web page.  


Photo credit: Mary Yurlina

Choosing Hemp Varieties

When selecting the variety of hemp to grow make sure to look into its capacity for having THC levels approaching or exceeding 0.3% (dry weight). Many factors impact the expression of THC. Genetic variation is a major one. One source of “Cherry” may not be genetically the same or as stable as another source of “Cherry” hemp. Hemp breeding is in its infancy. Seed certification exists for very few hemp varieties and most of those are for grain and fiber types. Choose your vendor for hemp genetics very carefully. Also, make sure that the Certificates of Analysis (COA) you are given are based on mature flower samples and that the dates on the tests make sense.

Maine does not certify hemp varieties; we neither approve nor prohibit varieties. There are states that do, and it would serve growers well to look up these lists online as part of your decision-making process. Based on our 2020 sampling data, for which most of our samples were single variety lots, there were several varieties with lots testing above 0.3% for Total THC. They were Boax, Lifter, Suver Haze, Wife, Cherry Wine, Cherry Mountain, Mountain Mango, Super T1, Cat’s Meow, and Hawaiian Haze. These are popular CBD-hemp varieties and it should also be noted that many growers produced lots with these same named varieties that did not have Total THC above 0.3%.

Selling Hemp Seedlings?

Yes, you can grow hemp seedlings and clones for sale without a hemp license. You do need a nursery license, however. You should have COA records from your seed/clone sources for each variety of hemp you offer for sale and have this paperwork available for your customers to take home with them. If you end up with hemp plants beyond the seedling stage, make sure you get a hemp license or dispose of the plants. 

Stay Well & Happy Spring...Mary Yurlina, Hemp Program Manager