Industrial Hemp Laws in the State of Arkansas

Cited Directly From the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Hemp Program Website

"Even though the 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp from the controlled substances list, no person can grow, handle (possess), or process hemp plants, viable seed, leaf or floral materials without a hemp license issued by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department). 

As stated in A.C.A. § 2-15-410(b), “Industrial Hemp that is found in this state at any location off the premises of an industrial hemp grower licensee is contraband and subject to seizure by any law enforcement officer, unless the person in possession of the industrial hemp has in his or her possession either: (A) the proper licensing documents under this subchapter, or (B) a bill of lading, or other proper documentation, demonstrating that the industrial hemp was legally imported and is otherwise legally present in this state under applicable state and federal laws relating to industrial hemp.”

To view the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act in its entirety, as well as the Department Hemp Research Program Rules, visit this link Hemp Law & Rules. Most general questions pertaining to the program can be answered by reading through this document.

For full details on the federal hemp program, see the USDA USDA Hemp Rules & Regulations.

License Holders investing at this early stage in the research should be aware that federal law is subject to change. There is uncertainty at the federal level on what parts of the hemp plant can be lawfully sold.

The Department Hemp Research Program allows licensed hemp processors to make “publicly marketable hemp products” as defined in the Rules (Section 1(A)(33)) as well as A.C.A. § 2-15-403(4). Live plants, viable seed, leaf or floral materials are considered “non-publicly marketable hemp products” and should only be in the possession of an Department Hemp License Holder.

It is also important to keep in mind that Arkansas implements ‘Total THC’ compliance testing, which means the THC-acid precursor molecule is decarboxylated to Delta-9-THC to ensure compliance with the federal and state 0.3% Total THC limit. All states wishing to have sole control over industrial hemp production in their state will implement Total THC testing, per USDA’s Interim Final Rule Guidelines.

To cover the industrial hemp program’s expenses, additional fees and service charges beyond the application and license fees were approved at the Arkansas State Plant Board’s quarterly board meeting on March 10, 2020, following the public hearing. The fees have not been fully implemented quite yet, but once they are approved and implemented, Department staff will alert license holders and update the program website. 

Prohibited Activities and Products

The activities listed below are prohibited from the Department's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. A participant found to be conducting or participating in any of these activities may be subject to actions including, but not limited to, termination of their Licensing Agreement and forfeiture or destruction of all industrial hemp materials in the participant’s possession.

  • Growing or possessing live hemp plants, leaf or floral material in or adjacent to any structure that is used for residential purposes.
  • Transporting live hemp plants or in-program materials to unapproved locations such as trade shows, county fairs, educational events, or any other address not listed within a Licensing Agreement or within another authorized hemp program.
  • Violating the restrictions outlined on this webpage and/or in Section 12, Restrictions on Sale and Transfer, of the Department Hemp Program Rules.
  • Creating products for sale outside of the program which would cause noncompliance with Department Hemp Program Rules, or federal or state law."

 Required Documents to Transport Material

https://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/Websites/aad/files/Content/6591429/Documents_Required_for_the_Transfer_of_Hemp_Material.pdf

THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS MUST BE IN THE POSSESSION OF A CARRIER/TRANSPORTER OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP CROP THAT ORIGINATES OR TERMINATES IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS

1. Approved Transfer Form with sections 1 – 3 completed. 2. Copy of Transferor’s Industrial Hemp Program license certificate from their state. 3. Documentation from the Transferor’s Depart of Agriculture releasing the hemp for transfer. 4. Documentation stating the THC content of the hemp in accordance with the Transferor’s Department of Agriculture’s regulations. 5. (Suggested) Copy of Receiver’s Industrial Hemp Program license certificate from their state.