Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky

Questions and Answers


Hemp is a multi-purpose agricultural crop delivering seeds, fibers and bio-active chemicals for a number of uses and markets. Hemp is defined in federal and Montana statute as Cannabis sativa L. that contains no greater than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is authorized as an alternative agricultural crop by the Montana Legislature, Section 80-18-101 through 80-18-111 of Montana Code Annotated. Hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant and may look very similar under similar growing conditions.

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa L., that have developed due to selective breeding. The plant family Cannabaceae, that contains both hemp and marijuana, also includes the hops plant which is used in the brewing process. By both federal and state law, hemp must contain no greater than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) on a dry weight basis.
THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the component of marijuana that has psychoactive properties.
No, hemp has very low levels of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Hemp is required by law to have no greater than 0.3% THC. Current marijuana Cannabis varieties are between 10-30% THC.
Yes, for more information refer to the department’s Organic Program page.


No, applicants are not required to be residents of Montana.
For outdoor producers applications must be submitted by May 30th. Indoor produces have no deadline.

All new applicants, meaning anyone that was not licensed or did not submit a summary in 2022, must submit an FBI Identity History Summary upon initial application so that the department may determine eligibility. Hemp program participation requires no prior convictions of felony drug charges in the previous 10 years.

An FBI Identity History Summary (IdHS) must be submitted for all new individual applicants and, if the application is for a business entity, for each key participant.

Hemp Seed

Seed can be purchased from any seed company.  However, the department recommends that buyers do their research to ensure they are purchasing high quality and compliant varieties. To see the current list of hemp seed providers licensed to distribute into Montana click here. This is not an endorsement, recommendation or guarantee of the company’s seed in regard to germination, purity, or THC levels.

Yes, all entities that sell agricultural seed in Montana are required to follow the requirements of the Montana Seed Act. At a minimum, hemp seed sellers must have a Montana Seed Labeler license. More information about the seed program and licensing requirements are available on the Montana Department of Agriculture's Seed Program web page at:
Yes, licensees can plant any seed reasonably believed to produce hemp. Seed varieties not previously grown in Montana or ASOCA/OECD certified are considered category C varieties and are grown at the licensee’s own risk. All category C varieties are required to be tested for Total THC three weeks prior to harvest.

The Montana Department of Agriculture does not regulate the production or sale of food, drugs, health supplements, or cosmetics. Hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil have been granted Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status by the FDA and are widely available in products at retail stores across Montana. A recent FDA statement, from December 20, 2018, on Cannabis products can be found here:

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