Thanks to the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, Senate Bill 305 (SB305), and Senate Bill 396 (SB396), those who are interested in growing, producing, or handling industrial hemp in Nevada are able to do so under the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program. However, starting a hemp business is more than just planting hemp seeds in your backyard and waiting for them to grow. As a matter of fact, it is a felony to grow hemp in Nevada without a license. If you are interested in getting licensed to grow, produce, or handle hemp, the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has its own application process and fees.

What is hemp?

Hemp comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and contains a very low concentration of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (the chemical component of marijuana that is responsible for the “high” you feel after consuming it). Historically, hemp has been used to make rope, textiles, canvas and clothing. Additionally, it can be used to make oils and food.

Is hemp basically the same thing as marijuana?

No. Although hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, it has a completely different chemical makeup. While marijuana contains a high amount of THC, hemp contains less than 0.3%. Additionally, hemp contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which will not have intoxicating effects on a person’s body. Although hemp is not considered a “drug” like marijuana, it is still important to remember that it is a federal crime to grow, produce, or handle it without a license. Unlike marijuana though, there are far fewer restrictions on purchasing hemp products (such as CBD oil, clothing, or even smoothies) from a licensed producer for your own personal use/consumption.

How can you start a hemp business in Nevada?

If you’re interested in growing, producing, or handling industrial hemp in Nevada, you will need to fill out the necessary applications, which can be found on the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s website. There are currently 3 applications:

  1. Industrial Hemp Grower’s Application – for those who will grow hemp.
  2. Industrial Hemp Seed Producer Application – for those who will grow hemp in order to sell/distribute the seeds.
  3. Industrial Hemp Handler’s Application – for those who will process hemp (i.e. make it into products).

Additionally, per the NDA’s website, a “harvest report” is to be submitted by an “active grower/seed producer” 15 days prior to crop/seed harvest.

How much does it cost to start a hemp business in Nevada?

Compared to starting a business in the marijuana industry, starting a hemp business is considerably less expensive.  From the NDA website:

Industrial Hemp Grower:

  • Application Fee: $500.00
  • Acreage Fee: $5.00/Acre, or:
  • Square Footage Fee: $0.33/1,000 Square Feet

Industrial Hemp Seed Producer:

  • Application Fee: $100.00
  • Acreage Fee: $5.00/Acre
  • Square Footage Fee: $0.33/1,000 Square Feet

Industrial Hemp Handler:

  • Application Fee: $1,000

Other fees include:

  • Inspection costs at $50.00/hour. Inspector drive time will also need to be reimbursed. Please note that annual inspections are required.
  • Additionally, per the NDA website, “The Department may charge a fee for any analysis which it conducts.”

Conclusion

If you need help applying for a hemp license or have any further questions regarding Nevada’s industrial hemp program, contact Connor & Connor PLLC at 702-750-9139 today.