Nov 19, 2020
Michigan Updates Background Check Requirement For Hemp Growers

Beginning with the 2021 registration/license year, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) will only accept a completed Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Identity History Summary as verification of an applicant’s criminal history. Background check summaries previously obtained from the Michigan State Police’s IChat tool will no longer be accepted for hemp registration and licensing activities.

To lawfully grow, process, handle, broker or market industrial hemp in Michigan, all applicants and/or key participants of a business must be free of felony drug convictions for 10 years preceding the date of the application.

To obtain an FBI Identity History Summary, visit and follow the instructions provided.

Although the FBI website states an FBI Identity History Summary is “not intended for employment or licensing”, MDARD will accept this summary as long as it was prepared 60 days or less before submission of a grower registration or processor handler license application. MDARD will not accept criminal history reports completed more than 60 days before the submission of an application.

Please be aware, the typical processing time for a grower registration or processor handler license is three to five weeks depending on the accuracy and completeness of the application. All information submitted must be accurate, legible, and complete. If a deficiency is noted in an application, that deficiency will be communicated to the applicant by email using the email address provided on their application. It is critical for applicants to include a valid email address and monitor their email for messages from MDARD. This makes sure you can get any application deficiencies taken care of quickly and ensure timely issuance of your registrations and licenses.

For additional information on the industrial hemp program in Michigan, please visit

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, Michigan 49345


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