The commissioner is hereby authorized and directed to collect from each commercial cannery an assessment for inspection and services furnished, and for maintaining a bacteriological laboratory and employing such bacteriologists and trained and qualified sanitarians as the commissioner may deem necessary. The assessment to be made on each commercial cannery, for each and every packing season, shall not exceed one-half cent per case on all foods packed, canned, or preserved therein, nor shall the assessment in any one calendar year to any one cannery exceed $6,000, and the minimum assessment to any cannery in any one calendar year shall be $100. The commissioner shall provide appropriate deductions from assessments for the net weight of meat, chicken, or turkey ingredients which have been inspected and passed for wholesomeness by the United States Department of Agriculture. The commissioner may, when the commissioner deems it advisable, graduate and reduce the assessment to such sum as is required to furnish the inspection and laboratory services rendered. The amount of the assessment shall be due and payable on or before December 31, of each year, and if not paid on or before February 15 following, shall bear interest after that date at the rate of seven percent per annum, and a penalty of ten percent on the amount of the assessment shall also be added and collected.
A commercial canneries inspection account is created in the agricultural fund. The assessments collected under subdivision 1 shall be deposited in the commercial canneries inspection account. Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner to meet the expense of special inspection, laboratory, and other services rendered, as provided in sections 31.31 to 31.392.