Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-17-237 No. 2   01/20/2017    
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In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULES I through VI pertaining to hemp definitions and license applications







TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On February 15, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed adoption of the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 10, 2017 to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, 59601; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be adopted provide as follows:


NEW RULE I DEFINITIONS (1)  "Hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

(2)  "Pilot program" means a program to grow hemp under the regulation of the Montana Department of Agriculture for the purposes of complying with federal law.

(3)  "Seed repository" means the storage area for those approved varieties of hemp available for sale by the department.

(4) "Specialty variety" means a variety of hemp that the department has not already made an approved variety or does not currently plan to import for that growing year.

(5)  "State hemp license" means a license to grow hemp that shows the holder is in compliance with state hemp laws. The holder is also responsible for obeying all applicable federal and tribal regulations.

(6)  "Testing" means a testing for the amount of THC, pesticides, or other tests for legal compliance of departmental or federal regulations.


AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

IMP: 80-18-101, 80-18-102, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, 80-18-107, 80-18-110, 80-18-111, MCA


          NEW RULE II APPLICATION FOR HEMP LICENSE (1)  An applicant must:

          (a) provide the information required by state law for a hemp license on the form provided by the department;

          (b) pay all fees as established by rule; and

          (c) consent to entrance of their property by the department to inspect their hemp fields.

          (2) If the applicant is not a single individual, then all proper filings with the Secretary of State must be current and in good order.

          (3) The applicant, including all corporate officers, must be fingerprinted at a law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency, not the applicant, must send the fingerprint sheet to the department. 

          (4) Licenses will expire on the last day of December of the year that they are issued for.

          (5) Renewals do not require new fingerprinting unless the department requests it or if the corporate officers have changed.

          (6) The licensee must also provide all material required under 80-18-106, MCA.


AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

IMP: 80-18-102, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, MCA


          NEW RULE III PILOT PROGRAM (1)  An applicant to the pilot program must:

          (a) have a Montana Hemp License;

          (b) not be forbidden from participating by a federal agency;

          (c) meet any additional requirements that the DEA places on the department for the continuation of the program;

          (d)  only obtain seed through the program or program-approved methods;

          (e)  pay a pilot program participation program fee;

          (f) if they wish to have the department important a hemp specialty variety, they must pay the specialty variety fee as well; and

          (g) have applied to the department for participation in the program by January 31st unless the department extends the application deadline.

          (2) The department may create a hemp seed repository as part of the pilot program. Only pilot program participants can buy from the repository. The varieties in the repository will be determined by the department. Availability of a particular variety or any seed is not guaranteed by the department. 

          (3) All post-harvest commercial use of the hemp must be approved by the department so as to not jeopardize the continued existence of the federal approval of the pilot program. 

          (a) Pre-approved and disapproved uses will be listed on the department web site.


AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

IMP: 80-18-102, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, MCA


          NEW RULE IV FEES (1) The fee for a state hemp license is $50.

          (2) The fee for participation in the state pilot program is $400.

          (3) The special variety fee of the pilot program is $600.

          (4)  If official sampling is requested by a licensed hemp grower, the fee for providing such a service will be consistent with ARM 4.12.1811.


          AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

          IMP: 80-18-102, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, MCA


          NEW RULE V LAB TESTING FEES (1) The department will charge any licensee or law enforcement agency $100 per test for THC levels of a plant.

          (2) The department may approve third party testing providers.


          AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

          IMP: 80-18-102, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, MCA


          NEW RULE VI PENALTIES OR REVOCATIONS (1)  After notice to the licensee, the department may suspend a license and start an administrative hearing under MAPA for permanent revocation.

          (2) The department may suspend or terminate the hemp license for any violation of county, state, or federal law.

          (3) The department may reinstate the license if good cause is shown and a reinstatement fee is paid. The reinstatement fee is $50 for the state hemp license and $400 for the state pilot program.


          AUTH: 80-18-107, MCA

IMP: 80-18-101, 80-18-103, 80-18-106, 80-18-107, MCA


REASON: These are the minimum rules necessary to comply with federal guidelines to allow a DEA-compliant program to operate in the state of Montana. Fees are set to reasonably cover the expected expenses of the program and are commensurate with similar programs in other states. The average grower who participates in the hemp program will pay $450 in fees. If the federal government deregulates or curtails their regulation the typical fees will be $50.


          4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., February 20, 2017.


5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ Cort Jensen                                   /s/ Libbi Lovshin                                  

Cort Jensen                                         Libbi Lovshin          

Rule Reviewer                                     Administrator



Certified to the Secretary of State January 9, 2017.


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