The growth, handling, processing, and marketing of hemp is administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture as authorized by the Arkansas Hemp Production Act (A.C.A. § 2-15-501 et seq.) and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, Pub. L. 115-334). The restrictions on the manufacture, sale, and transfer of hemp are in Section 12 of the Program Rules and are also summarized on this web page. This web page contains information explaining which hemp materials are restricted to transfer or sale to hemp license holders, as opposed to hemp materials that are eligible for transfer or sale to the public.
HEMP MATERIAL IN ARKANSAS CAN ONLY BE IN THE POSSESSION OF A DEPARTMENT LICENSE HOLDER
At this time, state law and the Department’s Hemp Program Rules dictate that industrial hemp materials (viable seed, live plants, leaf and/or floral material) can only be in the possession of an industrial hemp license holder operating under a duly authorized state hemp production program or approved USDA hemp program. It is against Program Rules and the Arkansas Hemp Production Act to sell, transport, or market raw hemp material, otherwise known as “in-program materials,” to the general public or unlicensed entities.
In-Program (Raw) Hemp Materials: Must remain in the Industrial Hemp Program and in the possession of an authorized industrial hemp license holder, as authorized by the Department or another participating state or federal hemp program.
The following industrial hemp materials are considered “In-Program Materials” and should only be in the possession of an industrial hemp program licensee in Arkansas (Section 12 (A & B) of Hemp Program Rules):
- Fiber – in the form of whole stalks, including leaf and seed materials, and bales of stalks
- Roots – including raw roots
- Leaves or Floral Material – including fresh, unprocessed, dried, and/or ground biomass
- Grain (food product) – in the form of a raw, unprocessed seed
- Seed (for replication) – including whole seed, clean or uncleaned
- Transplants – including rooted plants, cuttings, seedlings, immature plants
PUBLICLY MARKETABLE HEMP PRODUCTS
Licensed industrial hemp growers are only permitted to sell or transfer their compliant hemp crop, otherwise known as “in-program hemp materials,” to other licensed industrial hemp growers and/or processor/handlers that are appropriately licensed through a state’s department of agriculture or approved USDA plan. The licensed processor accepts the raw in-program hemp materials and processes the crop into what is considered a “publicly marketable hemp product,” otherwise known as “out-of-program materials.” This means the product can be sold to retail shops and/or the general public. A “publicly marketable hemp product,” as explained in the Program Rules, Section 1(A)(33) & Section 12(C), are considered stripped stalks, fiber, dried roots, seed oils, nonviable seeds, floral extracts, and plant extracts, that are not to exceed 0.3% Total THC in final-product form. These products are considered ‘out-of-program materials’ because they are able to be sold to the general public and other unlicensed entities, due to the material no longer being in raw crop form.
Out-of-Program Materials: Allowed for transfer or sale to anyone, material is considered publicly marketable assuming compliance with THC threshold in final-product form. (Okay to sell to general public; “Publicly Marketable Hemp Products”; Section 12C of Hemp Program Rules)
The following Out-of-Program Materials are eligible for transfer or sale outside of the Hemp Program:
- Fiber – including the whole stalk, stripped of leaf and seed materials, and decorticated fiber (base and/or hurd)
- Roots – including dried and/or ground roots
- Leaves or Floral Material – in the form of cannabinoid extract and all products derived from extracts
- Grain (food product) – including crushed, ground, dehulled, seed cake/meal, roasted or toasted AND proven nonviable, and oil
TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS & TRANSFER REQUESTS
Transfer Requirements for In-Program Materials
*To ensure program-compliance with Sale or Transfers of In-Program Materials, the Department recommends License Holders to address questions and concerns with Program staff prior to any transfer or sale of hemp materials.*
It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that the transfer or sale of any industrial hemp material to or from another entity complies with all applicable laws and policies in the receiving state and state of origin. Any license holder receiving industrial hemp materials from a source outside of Arkansas must have THC test results confirming the materials to be not more than 0.3% Total THC, as well as other required documentation, such as a Hemp License Certificate.
For all in-program transfers or sales of hemp materials, program participants must have all of the following documents in possession of the transporter AND on-file with their hemp operation records:
- Company Transfer/Bill of Lading Document: This could be a company or individual’s bill of lading document, transfer manifest document, or similar transport documentation.
- Copies of ALL Hemp License Certificates involved in Transfer or Sale: The company or entity you are purchasing material from MUST be licensed to grow or process/handle hemp within their state. Copies of license certificates must be retained with your operation records. You may also be asked to supply others with copies of your hemp license certificate.
- Valid Lab Analysis Sheets or Certificates of Analysis with compliant THC Levels with Measurement of Uncertainty Value: All hemp materials in Arkansas must have valid COAs associated with the material. If the material was grown in Arkansas, the material must be released by the Department from a compliant lab report prior to any marketing or processing of the material.
These documents MUST accompany in-program materials at all times during transfer. Additionally, if in-program materials will be shipped or mailed via USPS or any similar shipping entity, all documents mentioned above must be included within the shipping container and the license holder must abide by the shipping entity’s specific policy regarding hemp materials. All hemp materials must be appropriately identified or labeled at all times during transit.
Out-of-Program Transfers/Publicly Marketable Hemp Products
If the product is an extract of floral material, the participant is required to conduct testing of THC content of each final product batch produced. Test results MUST confirm that the final product batch contains no more than 0.3% Total THC; and all such testing results must be retained by the licensee and made available to the Department upon demand for a minimum of three (3) years. Final products include both wholesale and retail products (anything sold). Any material having more than 0.3% Total THC is not lawful or protected by the Department. Possession or distribution of such products may be subject to federal, state, or local law enforcement action.
It is the responsibility of the licensee, retailer, or distributor to understand and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to their products and to seek approval(s) from any applicable regulating authorities. The Department is not responsible for ensuring product quality or product compliance with other regulating authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Arkansas Department of Health. The Licensing Agreement you have with the Department does NOT offer any legal protections from these governing bodies and does not provide waivers from their regulations. Additionally, it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the transfer or sale of any industrial hemp material complies with all applicable state and federal laws. The Department has no authority to authorize or regulate industrial hemp materials once they exit the Program. All hemp materials must always be appropriately identified or labeled at all times during transit.
Private Laboratory Testing: Sample Transfers
Licensees intending to transfer hemp materials to third-party testing labs for the purpose of determining phytocannabinoid levels are restricted to individual samples that must not exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg) per sample. Samples must be sent directly to the lab at the company address and be appropriately labeled appropriately, detailing the plot information, including the hemp variety’s full-name and location grown. Outside of the hemp program, these materials are classified under 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. A participant’s choice to send floral materials to a lab for testing is at their own risk. The Department has no authority to authorize or regulate industrial hemp materials once they exit Arkansas. For all lab sample transfers, program participants must be prepared to produce the required and necessary transportation records upon request by the Department, the Arkansas State Police, or any other law enforcement agency. The participant must ensure that a copy of the approved application and License Certificate accompanies the material in transit, showing the address of origin and destination.
PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND PRODUCTS
The activities listed below are prohibited from the Department’s Hemp Program. A license holder 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 or cannabis 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 result in noncompliance with Department Hemp Program Rules, or federal or state law.
Any participant who fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the Department research pilot program may be subject to expulsion or other disciplinary measures. The Department may notify Arkansas State Police, or other state or federal law enforcement agencies, of a participant’s noncompliance.