2017 Arkansas Code
Title 2 - Agriculture
Subtitle 2 - Agronomy
Chapter 15 - General Provisions
Subchapter 4 - Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act
§ 2-15-404. State Plant Board -- Research program

Universal Citation: AR Code § 2-15-404 (2017)
  • (a)
    • (1) The State Plant Board may adopt rules to administer the industrial hemp research program and to license persons to grow industrial hemp under this subchapter.
    • (2) The board may include as part of its rules the establishment of industrial hemp testing criteria and protocols.
  • (b)
    • (1) The board shall promote research and development concerning industrial hemp and commercial markets for Arkansas industrial hemp and hemp products.
    • (2) The board may work in conjunction with the Division of Agriculture of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service regarding industrial hemp research programs.
    • (3)
      • (A) The board may undertake research concerning industrial hemp production through the establishment and oversight of a ten-year industrial hemp research program.
      • (B) In conjunction with the Division of Agriculture of the University of Arkansas, the board may create a program consisting primarily of demonstration plots planted and cultivated in this state by growers licensed under this subchapter.
      • (C) The board may determine the location, and the total number and acreage, of each demonstration plot.
      • (D)
        • (i) In conducting research under this subchapter, higher tetrahydrocannabinol concentration varieties of industrial hemp may be grown to provide breeding strains to revitalize the production of industrial hemp.
        • (ii) However, tetrahydrocannabinol levels shall not exceed three-tenths of one percent (0.3%).
    • (4) The board may seek permits or waivers from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration or appropriate federal agency that are necessary for the advancement of the industrial hemp research program.
    • (5) In conjunction with the Division of Agriculture of the University of Arkansas, the board may:
      • (A) Oversee and analyze the growth of industrial hemp by selected and licensed growers for agronomy research and analysis of required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods relating to the production of industrial hemp that may be suitable for various commercial hemp products, including without limitation industrial hemp seed, paper, clothing, and oils;
      • (B) Conduct seed research on various types of industrial hemp that are best suited to be grown in Arkansas, including without limitation:
        • (i) Creation of Arkansas hybrid types of industrial hemp;
        • (ii) Industrial hemp seed availability; and
        • (iii) In-the-ground variety trials and seed production;
      • (C) Establish a program to recognize certain industrial hemp seed as being Arkansas heritage hemp seed;
      • (D) Study the economic feasibility of developing an industrial hemp market in various types of industrial hemp that can be grown in the state;
      • (E) Report on the estimated value-added benefits, including environmental benefits, that Arkansas businesses could reap by having an industrial hemp market of Arkansas-grown industrial hemp varieties in the state;
      • (F) Study the agronomy research being conducted worldwide relating to industrial hemp varieties, production, and utilization;
      • (G) Research and promote Arkansas industrial hemp and hemp seed on the world market that can be grown on farms in the state; and
      • (H) Study the feasibility of attracting federal and private funding for the Arkansas industrial hemp research program.
    • (6) The board may:
      • (A) Coordinate with the Arkansas Energy Office of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to study the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies, including without limitation:
        • (i) Evaluation of the use of industrial hemp to generate electricity, and to produce biofuels and other forms of energy resources;
        • (ii) Growth of industrial hemp on reclaimed mine sites;
        • (iii) Use of hemp seed oil in the production of fuels; and
        • (iv) Assessment of the production costs, environmental issues, and costs and benefits involved with the use of industrial hemp for energy; and
      • (B) Promote awareness of the financial incentives that may be available to agribusiness and manufacturing companies that manufacture industrial hemp into hemp products to:
        • (i) Attract new businesses to the state;
        • (ii) Create a commercial market for industrial hemp;
        • (iii) Create new job opportunities for Arkansas residents; and
        • (iv) Diversify the agricultural economy of the state.
    • (7) The research activities under this subchapter shall not:
      • (A)
        • (i) Subject the industrial hemp research program to criminal liability under the controlled substances laws of the state.
        • (ii) The exemption from criminal liability under subdivision (b)(7)(A)(i) of this section is a limited exemption that shall be strictly construed and that shall not apply to an activity of the industrial hemp research program that is not expressly permitted under this subchapter; or
      • (B) Amend or repeal by implication a provision of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, § 5-64-101 et seq.
    • (8) The board shall notify the Department of Arkansas State Police and each local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction of the duration, size, and location of all industrial hemp demonstration plots.
    • (9) The board may cooperatively seek funds from both public and private sources to implement the industrial hemp research program created in this subchapter.
    • (10) By December 31, 2018, and annually thereafter, the board shall report on the status and progress of the industrial hemp research program to the Governor and to the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Arkansas may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.