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Is CBD oil legal in Minnesota?

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  1. What is CBD?
  2. Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
  3. Minnesota CBD laws
  4. Where to buy CBD in Minnesota
  5. How to read CBD labels and packaging

CBD laws in Minnesota have been updated since the passage of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Although CBD products derived from hemp are widely available in Minnesota, it has been deemed illegal to market CBD products with the intention of preventing, curing, or treating diseases. .

Efforts to create regulatory frameworks around hemp and CBD are ongoing. The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy oversees all drug regulations, and thus is in charge of establishing rules for hemp-derived CBD products, in addition to medical marijuana products already on the market.

CBD products that meet the current labeling and testing requirements are permitted under state law. These products must still meet FDA criteria, however, which currently prohibits the sale of CBD in food or drink, and has yet to release official rules and regulations.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Minnesota in 2014, although the program is limited. CBD derived from cannabis is available for qualifying patients in liquid, capsule, or vaporized format. Adult-use cannabis is illegal.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant, and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana plants and hemp plants, which are legal in most countries as they contain minuscule amounts of THC.

Combine THC and CBD to fully employ the entourage effect; THC and CBD work hand-in-hand to amplify each others’ effects.

CBD oil dropper

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD oil dropper

Why is CBD sometimes illegal?

All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule I, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018l re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule I status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than .3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than .3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than .3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations. The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive.

The FDA has declared that hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement.Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of these stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.

In addition to federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may also regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s final ruling.. Minnesota is currently developing its own legal guidelines regarding the production and sale of CBD, but presently maintains a stance informed by FDA directives.

Minnesota CBD laws

The cultivation of hemp has been legal for research purposes in Minnesota since 2015. The Minnesota Industrial Hemp Development Act (IHDA), informed by the 2014 Farm Bill, permitted the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to develop a Hemp Pilot Program. The MDA Hemp Pilot Program is in effect in Minnesota until the USDA approved the Minnesota state hemp plan.

The legal definition of industrial hemp was updated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2019. Hemp is considered any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, with a THC concentration of more than .3% on a dry weight basis.

CBD legislation in Minnesota falls under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. At present,CBD derived from hemp is illegal in Minnesota when placed into a product intended for consumption. CBD is also illegal when sold as a product intended to prevent, cure, or treat a disease, or alter the structure or function of human or animal bodies. These prohibitions are in line with the FDA directives that CBD cannot be sold in food, drink, or make therapeutic claims.

CBD products in Minnesota that meet state labeling and testing requirements are permitted under state law and can be sold in pharmacies.There are no Minnesotan laws that prohibit the sale of topical CBD products, such as lotions, balms, or salves, although it follows that such products must meet state and FDA labeling and testing requirements.

There are no Minnesotan laws that prohibit the sale of topical CBD products, such as lotions, balms, or salves. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Those who wish to acquire CBD derived from cannabis must first qualify with a physician’s recommendation, then register as a medical cannabis patient under the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program.

Licensing requirements for CBD

Individuals and businesses hoping to grow and process hemp in Minnesota must acquire licenses under the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Hemp Program. The MDA Pilot Program will be in effect until the USDA has approved the new state plan.

First-time applicants must submit an application,pay the appropriate program fees, and pass a federal and state criminal background check. Those with controlled substance-related convictions in the last ten years are disqualified. Returning applicants must also submit an application and pay the program fees. Each license granted expires on the 31st December of the year of issue.

MDA inspectors inspect fields within 30 days of harvest for testing. Crops with more than .3% THC content will be destroyed.

Minnesota CBD possession limits

There are no limits on how much hemp-derived CBD a person can possess in Minnesota.

There are limits for cannabis-derived CBD products for medical marijuana patients. Eligible patients can possess up to thirty days of supply.

Non-eligible individuals found in possession of less than 42.5 grams of cannabis-derived CBD may face charges and fines up to $200, and may be required to enter a drug education program.

Where to buy CBD in Minnesota

CBD products are widely available throughout Minnesota, although some of these products may be considered illegal under present state legislation. Retailers include head shops, convenience stores, health food stores, pet stores, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and a rapidly-growing number of CBD-specific retailers.

CBD dropper

CBD products are widely available throughout Minnesota, although some of these products may be considered illegal under present state legislation. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD dropper

CBD derived from marijuana is only available from one of eight approved cannabis patient centers.

Shopping online for CBD represents another option for purchase. Consumers can buy from a wide variety of online outlets for CBD products, read consumer reviews, and ship purchases to their homes.

Online shopping also offers the ability to gather detailed information about each product, compare different products and product types, and comparison shop for the best price. CBD brands often also have their own e-commerce shop, allowing you to purchase your desired CBD products straight from the source. Find more reputable CBD companies on Weedmaps.

How to read CBD labels and packaging

The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA currently does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.

Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:

  • Amount of active CBD per serving.
  • Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
  • Net weight.
  • Manufacturer or distributor name.
  • Suggested use.
  • Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
  • Batch or date code.

One of the most important things to pay attention to is whether a CBD product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate.

Full spectrum means that the CBD has been extracted from a hemp plant along with all other cannabinoids and terpenes, including whatever trace amounts of THC the plant may have produced. Consuming full-spectrum CBD may yield better results thanks to the entourage effect, a phenomenon in which the mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce a more pleasant experience.

Broad spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processes to strip out any THC.

Is CBD oil legal in Minnesota? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Minnesota CBD laws Where

FAQs Regarding Minnesota’s Hemp Program

General Questions

When can I apply for a 2021 Hemp Program license?

The application period for 2021 is now open, and will remain open until April 30, 2021.

Paper application forms are also available by request ([email protected], 651-201-6600).

If you are a current license holder and need to add or change locations, submit a Change Request Form. If you need to report hemp acreage planted or request an inspection/THC test, please contact the MDA Hemp Program staff to request the Planting Report form.

An MDA inspector must take plant samples for THC testing within 30 days of harvest. The license holder is responsible for notifying the MDA of the hemp lots they’ve planted by filing a Planting Report form. Please contact the Hemp Program staff to request the Planting Report form. Once we receive your report, we will schedule your inspection and sampling. Inspectors take 30 cuttings per lot, the top 2 inches of the female flowers. At least 75% of the plants must be flowering in order for us to take samples, and there must be at least 2 inches of female flower vertically along the stem. Each variety is considered a separate lot and must be sampled separately. The grower will be invoiced for any extra inspections/tests beyond the first one.

If you aren’t sure when your harvest will occur, you can either send a picture of your plants along with your form or write a description of the growth stage that your plants are at. That will help us to determine the proper time for the inspection. Please be advised that all hemp crops must be tested by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, pass the THC Test, and have an issued Fit for Commerce certificate prior to transferring ownership of the crop. Selling or transferring ownership of hemp crop without a Fit for Commerce certificate is a violation.

As defined in the 2018 Farm Bill and Minnesota Statues Chapter18K, Section 2, hemp is the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the seeds, and all its derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. For regulatory purposes, the THC concentration is analyzed post-decarboxylation, as required by the federal law. This is commonly referred to as “Total Potential THC” and is equal to delta-9 THC + (THCA x 0.877). Hemp is an agricultural crop which can be grown for fiber, grain, or medicinal usages.

The 2014 Farm Bill contained a provision to allow state departments of agriculture to administer pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of hemp. In 2015, the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Development Act (IHDA), Minnesota Statues Chapter18K, became law. This allowed the MDA to create a hemp pilot program. The Minnesota pilot program operated in 2016 through 2020.

The 2018 Farm Bill officially legalized hemp cultivation for commercial purposes and removed it from the Controlled Substances Act. On October 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Interim Final Rule (7 CFR part 990), which forms the regulatory framework for all hemp cultivation nationwide. Each state and tribal authority had to submit a state plan for approval to USDA if they wanted to continue to regulate hemp at the state/tribal level. The Minnesota state plan was approved in July 2020. Visit the USDA website to view the entirety of the Minnesota plan. The pilot program will expire on December 31, 2020 and the commercial Hemp Program will begin operating under the state plan on January 1, 2021.

Minnesota Hemp Pilot Program Licensing and Acreage Statistics
Statistic 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Approved Applicants 7 47 65 505 583
Licensed Growers 6 33 43 350 444
Licensed Processors- Processing Only 0 5 8 49 88
Outdoor Acreage Planted 38 1,202 709 7,353 4,690
Indoor Square Footage Planted 0 0 54,618 403,304 282,790

Each license expires on December 31 of the year issued. Each year, licensees must reapply to be in the program.


An MDA inspector must sample each hemp lot produced in Minnesota. Each variety grown is considered a separate lot and must be sampled separately. The grower will be invoiced for any extra inspections/tests beyond the first one. A grower may not harvest a hemp lot until a sample has been collected by the MDA. Growers must harvest each lot within 15 days of the official MDA sample collection date. The grower may harvest any time after the sample is collected, even before they have received the official lab results/Fit for Commerce certificate from the MDA. However, they cannot combine lots or sell the material until they receive the Fit for Commerce certificate. It is the responsibility of the license holder to notify the MDA when their hemp crop is ready for sampling by filing a Planting Report. (Planting Report forms are submitted electronically–please contact the Hemp Program to get a link to the Planting Report). If a grower cannot complete harvest within 15 days of the official sample collection date, they must inform the program staff. A second sample may be taken by the MDA if the grower will be harvesting past the 15-day window. The grower would then be invoiced for the second inspection/test.

To sample a hemp lot, the inspector will take 30 cuttings of 30 different plants per lot, randomly selected throughout the plant population. They cut the top 2 inches of the female flower of each of the 30 plants. At least 75% of the female plants must be flowering in order to take samples, and there must be at least 2 inches of flower vertically along the stem. Lots which have less than 30 plants will be sampled proportionally. Please contact the MDA Hemp Program for more information.


The samples will be submitted to Legend Technical Services Inc., an accredited lab in St. Paul, for THC analysis by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The final regulatory determination will be based on the total potential THC post-decarboxylation, which is equal to delta-9 THC + (THCA x 0.877) if the sample is analyzed via HPLC methodology.

Compliance of a hemp lot will be based on whether the percentage of Total THC determined on a dry weight basis includes a value of 0.30% within a range of values specified by a plus or minus the measurement of uncertainty (MU). The MU adopted by the MDA Hemp Program is based on the laboratory measurement of uncertainty plus sampling variability. The MU for 2021 is 24% of the value of the % Total THC test result.

Example 1: A test result is 0.396% and the MU is +/- 0.09533, therefore the results range is 0.300- 0.491%. Since 0.30% falls within the result range, this is a passing THC test result.

Example 2: A test result is 0.422% and the MU is +/- 0.10209, therefore the results range is 0.320- 0.524%. Since 0.30% does not fall within the result range, this is a failing THC test result.

The license holder has the option to either destroy the crop or request a second test. The second sample would also be collected by an MDA inspector and analyzed by HPLC by Legend Technical Services Inc. The cost of this second sampling and test will be borne by the license holder. If the grower declines the second sample/test, or if the hemp sample fails a second time, the grower will be ordered to destroy their fields. Cannabis plants exceeding the acceptable THC level constitute a Schedule 1 controlled substance and must be destroyed. There is no remediation of “hot hemp” allowed.

Beginning in 2021, under the state plan, the following acts are considered “negligent violations“:

  • Failing to provide an accurate legal description of land where hemp is grown.
  • Growing hemp without a license.
  • Producing cannabis that exceeds the acceptable hemp THC level. Hemp growers do not commit a negligent violation if they make reasonable efforts to grow hemp and the cannabis does not have a Total THC concentration exceeding 0.50% after the MU is factored in. *Please note: The only way to prove a “reasonable effort to grow hemp” is to have the seed/clone label, seed/clone vendor info, and the certificate of analysis for the parent plants showing 0.3% THC or less. It is essential for all growers to obtain these records for every lot of hemp they grow and supply it upon request to the MDA.

For each negligent violation, the MDA will issue a Notice of Violation and require a corrective action plan for the grower. Any licensee that has 3 negligent violations in a 5-year period shall have their license revoked and be ineligible to produce hemp for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the third violation.

A “violation with a culpable mental state greater than negligence” includes:

  • Growing cannabis that tests over 0.50% Total THC after the MU is factored in.
  • Growing cannabis that tests between 0.30- 0.50% Total THC and the grower cannot demonstrate that they made a reasonable effort to grow legal hemp (i.e. cannot supply the seed/clone label, seed/clone vendor info, and the certificate of analysis for the parent plants showing 0.3% THC or less).
  • The licensee, key participant, individual grower, or authorized representative pleading guilty to, or being convicted of, any drug-related felony during the license period or the 10-year period prior to obtaining the license.
  • Making any materially false statement to the MDA.
  • Hindering or obstructing an MDA inspector from inspecting, sampling, or carrying out the duties under the state plan or M.S. Chapter 18K.

If the MDA determines that a licensee has committed a violation with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, the MDA shall immediately report the violation to the USDA, U.S. Attorney General, and the Minnesota Attorney General.

The MDA must sample and test every lot of hemp grown in Minnesota. Every hemp variety planted is considered a separate lot and must be reported and tested separately. The program fees paid by the licensee cover the cost of one inspection visit and one sample/THC test. If they have more than one variety, then we will sample each one separately and send an invoice after the inspection at $125 per additional variety. If they require more than one inspection at a location during the year then they will be invoiced $250 for the additional inspection, plus $125 per additional THC test beyond the first one.

Beginning January 1, 2021 all hemp growers are required to report their hemp acreage to their local FSA offices. This requirement applies to all hemp growers and all hemp lots, including indoor hemp growers. Please refer to the FSA handout Acreage Reporting Related to Hemp Production, and contact your local FSA office for more information.

Yes, you can grow indoors as long as you register the location. Growing inside any enclosed area, whether a building, greenhouse, or hoop house, is considered “indoor” growing. You must register the indoor space as a separate grow location, even if you are only starting seeds there. Growing, processing, or storing hemp inside a residential dwelling is not permitted.

Once you register your hemp fields with us, we will share your field location and contact information with local law enforcement, including the sheriff and the regional drug task force. For this reason, it is essential that you provide accurate field location information.

Growing, processing, or storing hemp inside a residential dwelling is not permitted. Other than that, we do not put restrictions on hemp production locations as part of the hemp application and licensing process. You may be subject to township or city zoning ordinances, which you are responsible for knowing and complying with.

No, residents of other states may get a Minnesota Hemp Program license. The land that they grow hemp on must be in Minnesota. An MDA Hemp Program license only covers activities within the state of Minnesota. For example, a processor with locations in multiple states would only be covered by their MDA license for processing done within Minnesota.

A company may contract growers to produce hemp. Each individual grower must obtain their own MDA Hemp Program license.

A license holder can grow hemp on rented land as long as the landowner gives consent to allow hemp to be grown on their property, understands that the MDA will perform routine inspections and plant sampling in the fields and gives inspectors unrestricted access to the grow locations. The licensee must provide the MDA with the landowner’s name and contact information. The licensee must make a copy of their Hemp Program license available to the land or building owner.

No. Only the applicant is required to submit fingerprints to the MDA and pass the criminal history background check. That individual is the primary responsible party under the license. If any of their employees violate the law or the terms of the program as agreed to by the license holder, the license may be revoked. The licensee also has an ongoing obligation during their license period to ensure that the licensee, individual growers, any member of the licensee’s business occupying a leadership position, and authorized representatives have not been convicted of a controlled substance-related felony within 10 years of the date of application or during the license period. The licensee can perform whatever background check or vetting process they choose to comply with this requirement.

General Questions When can I apply for a 2021 Hemp Program license? The application period for