"earthworm castings" by Vilseskogen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo Credit: Earthworm castings, by Vilseskogen, is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Updated: March 23, 2021
By Neith Little

I want to sell worm castings or insect frass. Do I need a permit?

Invertebrates can be an important component of urban agriculture. Composting using worms – vermicomposting – is popular both as a hobby and as a method of waste management for urban farms. And innovative entrepreneurs are exploring ways to produce edible insects for human and animal consumption. The “end”-product of both activities – earthworm castings and insect frass – can be a beneficial soil amendment. Selling these products successfully and legally requires testing, registration, and labeling.

To sell your vermicompost or frass you need to register your product as a "soil conditioner" with the Maryland Department of Agriculture's State Chemist. You need to get your product analyzed, then submit your proposed label to MDA to register ($30), and then report annually to the MDA on how much you sell. You need to send samples for analysis periodically and update the labeled analysis accordingly.

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Photo Credit: "earthworm castings" by Vilseskogen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0