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Montana Passes Landmark Bill Advancing Hemp as Animal Feed


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Montana Passes Landmark Bill Advancing Hemp as Animal Feed


Governor Greg Gianforte signs HB 396, a bill authorizing hemp food ingredients as commercial animal feed. This bill is a major step forward for the developing U.S. hemp grain industry, opening additional markets for farmers and again establishing Montana as a key leader in production and opportunities for industrial hemp grain. Features of this bill include:

Clarifying hemp seed food ingredients and substances derived from hemp are included in the definition of commercial feed.

Providing authority for hemp for use as commercial feed for pets, specialty pets, and horses.

For other livestock, effectiveness contingent upon FDA-CVM (Food and Drug Administration- Center for Veterinary Medicine) approval of hemp as an approved additive or defined ingredient in animal food or medicated feed for livestock.

This bill was championed by IND HEMP, representing 30+ family farms raising hemp grain in Montana, in coordination with hemp lobby firm Agricultural Hemp Solutions, LLC (AgHS). This bill was passed nearly unanimously by the Montana Legislature and had active support from the Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Farmers Union, Montana Stockgrowers Association, and the Montana Grain Growers Association.

AgHS Chief Legislative Strategist Courtney N. Moran, LL.M. commends the team’s achievement:

“HB 396 is a positive and necessary step forward in recognizing hemp as an agricultural crop. Opening the door for hemp as a commercial feed ingredient creates new markets for farmers. I’m proud to work with IND HEMP in advancing industrial hemp grain and fiber policy and infrastructure development.”

IND HEMP Founder Ken Elliott celebrated the passage: “Once again, Montana provides the right kind of leadership to get business done in these uncertain times. Leadership that is bipartisan and helps our farmers and our rural communities. In Montana, we look forward to building a nationally recognized hemp program founded on grain and fiber production and working with those farmers and businesses who work hard to make things happen.”

Chief Sponsor and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Josh Kassmier, HD 27, guided the victory: “The signing of HB 396 is a great step in promoting the hemp industry in Montana. Hemp provides an additional rotation crop for farmers and value-added opportunities for our rural communities. I look forward to seeing the hemp industry grow in Montana.”

Senate co-sponsor Tom Jacobson, SD11, led efforts on the Senate floor: “Montana’s agricultural future depends on the growth and diversification of hemp. Businesses such as IND HEMP are developing a completely new industry in our state and we as a legislature need to do whatever we can to reduce barriers and provide opportunities for growth. I applaud the Elliott family and their dedication to the development of the burgeoning hemp industry. I am thankful for the opportunity to further legislation that helps pave the way for continued success.

IND HEMP is a family-owned mission-driven industrial hemp oilseed and fiber processing and supply company in Fort Benton, Montana working to create opportunities for farmers and rural communities. For media inquiries contact

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