Industrial Hemp Research Program

The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Arkansas State Plant Board is conducting an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program as authorized by 7 U.S.C. § 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill). The 2014 Farm Bill provides for research on the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp inside pilot programs set up in states where industrial hemp is legal. The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act was passed by the Arkansas Legislature and became effective in August 2017 authorizing the Plant Board to adopt regulations to administer the industrial hemp research program in Arkansas. Industrial hemp has many potential uses that could have an economic impact and research projects will help identify which uses would be a good fit for Arkansas. Our regulations were developed after studying other state’s Industrial Hemp Research Program regulations and meeting with interested persons in our state that wish to participate in Industrial Hemp research. The regulations, effective August 31, 2018, outline the permitting processes for application to grow or process industrial hemp in a research format.

Industrial hemp” means all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. (Adopted by federal law in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S. C. & 801 et seq.) “Industrial hemp” has the same meaning as in 7 U.S.C. sec. 5940 (7 USC 5940) as it currently exists or as it may be subsequently amended.  The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program recognizes delta-9 THC as being THC + 0.877*THCA.

There are many potential uses of Industrial Hemp, and Arkansas needs information on which of these uses will be a good fit for our state. Industrial hemp has at least three main harvestable components (grain, fiber, and floral material) and each of these components is grown with different agricultural models and harvested with different methods. Because our research is in its beginning stages, there remains much for us to learn. There are many uncertainties, so be mindful that there is high risk of financial or other loss at this early stage in the program. The State Plant Board does not offer any financial assistance to participants. Also, because of funding issues, we may have to limit the size & scope of research projects, especially this initial year.

Potential Growers and Processors of Industrial Hemp must submit research proposals – and these will be evaluated by Plant Board Industrial Hemp staff to determine if the proposed research project will advance the goals of Industrial Hemp production in Arkansas. There are many possible research topics, including:

  • Best management practices in crop production
  • Planting methods
  • Seed variety trials, studying potential of varieties that are suitable for various hemp products
  • Optimum fertility levels
  • Pest management strategies
  • Development of harvesting methods/equipment uses
  • Development of hemp seed products, including oil derived from seed.
  • Development of hemp fiber products
  • Biomass, seed and fiber yield trials
  • Conservation/remediation
  • Seed certification trials
  • Biofuels & other forms of energy resources
  • Assessment of economics of hemp production for various uses of industrial hemp

Currently, there are no pesticides specifically labeled for use on hemp crops in Arkansas. However, a list of exempt pesticide active ingredients may be found at the following link.:

A list of pesticides registered in Arkansas may be found at the link below. If you click the drop-down box you can search by active ingredient, or product name.

If you purchase the product in a brick and mortar establishment you should be compliant. You must still ensure that a product you intend to use is registered in Arkansas and authorized to be used on hemp or crops in general. The Pesticide Section of the Arkansas State Plant Board can assist if you need further guidance. Phone 501-225-1598.

Applications are being accepted now.  Click on the link at the bottom of this page for the Grower or the Processor application, both currently in Adobe PDF form.  Other electronic forms options will be coming soon.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  The status of the applications will be communicated back to the applicant as soon as the review process has been completed. If you have no company name, and will use your personal name as your licensed entity name, you must complete and return the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) form (listed below) along with your application(s).

Please be aware, if your Industrial Hemp Research Program’s planting / growing / harvesting / processing crosses over from June 30th of one fiscal year into July 1st of the next fiscal year, you will need to pay the $200 license fee for the fiscal year up through June 30th, and another $200 license fee to cover the new fiscal year beginning July 1st (and each fiscal year thereafter, if you continue to participate in this program). The same license fee requirement applies for both Grower licenses as well as Processor/Handler licenses.  Any seller of industrial hemp seed within or into the State of Arkansas must hold an Arkansas Seed Labeler’s License (see this website link Seed Labeler License).

To cover the industrial hemp program’s expenses, additional fees and service charges, beyond the application fee and license fee, will be implemented in the near future.  Please send us your e-mail or mailing address so we may inform you of any program changes.

Make sure you complete all questions within your application.  This web page will be updated as the Program continues to be developed. Thank you for your patience as we develop this new program!

Should you have questions, please contact us at, or (501) 225-1598.

A few forms are listed below.  However, you may find all Arkansas Industrial Hemp forms in the green section at the top of this page, on the right-hand side, under the link called “Forms“.

The following link will take you to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Background Check System. Select the Manual Process. Fill out the ASP-122 form and follow directions. You can turn it at Arkansas State Police Headquarters in person, or mail it in with proper notarization and proper payment.

Some aspect of this website was updated 5-6-2019 at 1:31 p.m. CDT

Updated on May 12, 2019

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