15.01.16.03

.03 Authorization to Grow and Cultivate Industrial Hemp.

A. Only an institution of higher education within Maryland may submit an application to the Department for authorization to grow, cultivate, harvest, process, manufacture, transport, market or sell industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes to further agricultural or academic research purposes.

B. Only a person contracting with the Department or an approved institution of higher education as provided in this regulation may possess, grow, cultivate, harvest, process, manufacture, transport, market, or sell industrial hemp for commercial purposes as part of the Pilot Program to further agricultural or academic research purposes.

C. Industrial hemp may only be grown or cultivated at a registered site or premises owned or controlled by an institution of higher education or by a person who contracts with an institution to grow and cultivate it.

D. A person who contracts with an institution to grow and cultivate industrial hemp shall:

(1) Be at least 18 years old;

(2) Pass a criminal background test with no felony convictions in the past 10 years;

(3) Own or lease, with the approval of the owner, the property used to grow and cultivate hemp;

(4) Have the site registered and approved with the Department before contracting to grow or cultivate hemp;

(5) Grant the Department permission to enter and inspect the property to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(6) Only grow hemp on land that is at least 1,000 feet from a school or public recreation area when the hemp is being grown in an outdoor field or an outdoor site;

(7) Post a sign on the certified site that notifies the public that the site is used to grow hemp as part of the Pilot Program; and

(8) Attend an orientation session by the Department, in cooperation with the institution, that explains the requirements of this chapter before contracting to grow or cultivate hemp.

E. It is the sole responsibility of any institution or person qualifying under this chapter to hold any required federal permit to possess, grow, or cultivate industrial hemp.