Locally-owned CBD-rich hemp genetics company, Tree of Life Seeds, takes the lead in working with the state to establish regulations for the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 29, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — “The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act” (House Bill 1778), engrossed by the Arkansas Legislature on March 30, 2017, opened the door to the production, development and commercialization of hemp-based products in the Natural State, and placed the Arkansas State Plant Board in charge of creating and enforcing the rules and regulations for the new program.
The Director of the Arkansas State Plant Board, Terry Walker, has selected Mary Smith, Director of the board’s Seed Division, to oversee the industrial hemp pilot program.
The board has created an Industrial Hemp Committee, consisting of Jerry Hyde (Committee Chairman), Bruce Alford, Russell Bragg, Robert Campbell, Matthew Marsh, and Barry Walls, to begin the process of drafting the rules and regulations for the program.
The Plant Board has put together a process and timeline for implementation of the proposed regulations:
The Industrial Hemp Committee is engaged in conversation with current members of the hemp industry, such as Tree of Life Seeds, as they research rules and laws in Arkansas and in other states with existing industrial hemp programs. This will allow the committee to establish parameters and guidelines based on what is working elsewhere, and what will work best for Arkansas moving forward.
Once the committee has drafted a set of rules and regulations, they will present them to the Arkansas State Plant Board for review and approval. At this time, the committee has set a target deadline for the Plant Board’s December, 2017 meeting.
Following approval by the Arkansas State Plant Board, regulations will be submitted to the Governor’s office for review and approval, after which a public hearing will follow. The proposed rules and regulations must also be submitted to the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research. The committee hopes to reach this milestone by March 2018.
The final draft of rules and regulations will then go back to the Governor for approval, and subsequently will be forwarded to the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Arkansas Secretary of State for submission and filing.
The Arkansas State Plant Board hopes to award Arkansas farmers licenses to grow small research plots by next year to kick off the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
Before this can happen, however, there are important hurdles to overcome. As noted, House Bill 1778 appointed the Arkansas State Plant Board to create and oversee the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program. However, the language of the bill and Arkansas state law does not provide the Plant Board the opportunity to promulgate rules and access fees as needed to support the program. While the Plant Board does not require a profit from the Industrial Hemp Program, it needs a way to create fees to cover additional costs associated with the program’s creation and oversight.
The Plant Board hopes lawmakers will address this issue in early 2018 during Arkansas’ Fiscal Session. If the Plant Board is not granted the authority to access fees needed to support the program, this will put Arkansans at risk of missing out on the opportunity to cultivate hemp outdoors in 2018.
This information was obtained in a meeting between the Arkansas State Plant Board and locally-owned hemp genetics company Tree of Life Seeds on Wednesday, called to discuss the future of the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program, hurdles to overcome, and regulations moving forward. Present at the meeting were Terry Walker and Mary Smith representing the State Plant Board and Jason Martin, Brian Madar, and Bryan Taylor representing Tree of Life Seeds.
Jason Martin also serves as the Director of Hemp Advancement for the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, Arkansas’ Voice for the Medical Marijuana Industry.
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About Tree of Life Seeds:
Founded in 2015, Tree of Life Seeds develops industry leading premium hemp genetics for industrial and medical growers. Genetics developed by Tree of Life Seeds are some of the highest CBD cultivars on the market with CBD as high as 25%. With globally recognized genetics such as their flagship hybrid, Cherry Wine, Tree of Life Seeds has an established reputation of developing premium CDB rich cultivars. Through partnerships, Tree of Life Seeds has farms in 6 states and operates from headquarters in Colorado and Arkansas. For more information about Tree of Life Seeds, email Jason Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association:
The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA) is a cannabis industry trade association advocating for laws, regulations and public policies that foster a healthy, professional and accountable medical cannabis industry in our state. Their mission has three main components: Education, Protecting patients and Advocating for the industry. Since February 2017, the ACIA has worked hard to establish and earn their reputation with the public as Arkansas’ voice for the medical cannabis industry and its patients. They have hosted over a dozen seminars across the state, bringing industry experts to Arkansas from all areas of the country to speak about a variety of subjects, all designed to prepare patients and potential industry leaders, alike. For more information, email Storm Nolan at email@example.com.
Tree of Life Seeds Website: http://treeoflifeseeds.com/
Tree of Life Seeds Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TreeOfLifeSeeds/
Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association Website: https://arcannabis.org/
Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasCannaIndustryAssociation/