The Governor of Arkansas has approved the language of the industrial hemp rules and regulations, allowing the Arkansas State Plant Board to move forward with the promulgation process.
Read the latest version of the Rules and Regulations.
Here is an update on the industrial hemp program’s status as of May 17th:
- After the last public meeting on January 4th, the rules and regulations draft was sent to the Industrial Hemp Committee on January 30th. After the committee’s approval, it was presented to the full board at the March Quarterly Meeting. From there it was sent to the governor’s staff for approval.
- On the week of May 15th, the Governor approved the rules and regulations and permitted the plant board to move forward with the rule promulgation process.
- After the Governor’s approval, a 30 day public comment period takes place, in which anyone can send their questions and/or concerns about the rules and regulations to the plant board for consideration.
- The public comments will be presented at the full board’s next quarterly meeting, which is set to take place at 10 AM on June 21st at the State Plant Board’s office in Little Rock. The board will be able to adopt the rule, deny, or ask for further study.
- Once the rules are approved by the full board, they must be approved by the Legislative Council. This council does not meet in July, so their approval may not take place until August. If the council approves, the program’s rules will become effective 10 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State.
- After the rule becomes in effect, the plant board can then begin reviewing proposals and establishing the protocols for licensing program participants.
Given the chain of events that still have to happen in order for the program to get started, there is still no guarantee that industrial hemp research projects will be executed by the end of the 2018 growing season.
We are, however, grateful that the program has jumped yet another hurdle and has taken a step closer to making industrial hemp in Arkansas a reality.
Please review the latest version of the Rules and Regulations and send your comments to the Arkansas State Plant Board.