Arkansas just took another huge step in the development of the industrial hemp program.
Yesterday, the full board met to consider the adoption of the rules and regulations, and did so.
The meeting can be summarized by Mary Smith of the ASPB Seed Division reviewing comments made to her via email and phone over the last 30 days during the public comment period.
Overall, there was only one change to the language of the regulations – one that will prove pleasing to industry advocates and drug policy reformers:
Section 15 (A) License Revocation —– SECTION REMOVED.
This section states that anyone who is convicted of a drug-related misdemeanor or felony charge will immediately have their research license revoked. They would also have it revoked if they violate anything in the industrial hemp rules, made a false statement to ASPB, or failed to comply with rules.
Instead, the plant board will ‘temporarily suspend’ the participants license, and grant them a chance to plead their case before ASPB staff before revoking their license.
The program still has one last hurdle before the rules are finally promulgated – approval by the Legislative Council. The Council’s next meeting is August 17th, 2018 at 9 AM. Once approved, the rules will be filed with the Secretary of State and go into effect 10 days afterwards.
The Plant Board is not required to develop the policy guide or the licensing requirements until after the rules are fully promulgated. This could be as late as the end of August, and therefore research participants should start planning for the 2019 season.