ARKANSAS: The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) embarked upon two historic firsts for the state on Tuesday. After eighty years of prohibition, the ASPB held the first meeting of the Industrial Hemp Committee where the committee voted on and passed a draft of proposed regulations. These historic firsts mark the beginning of the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program that will bring production, development and commercialization of Industrial Hemp to the Natural State.
Approximately 40 farmers, breeders and ancillary business representatives filled the audience as Mary Smith, author of the regulations and ASPB Seed Division Director, read through the proposed regulations. Appointed members of the Industrial Hemp Committee reviewed and approved a few motions to change small details in the regulations before voting to approve the draft. The Committee members are Chairman Jerry Hyde, Bruce Alford, Russell Bragg, Robert Campbell, Matthew Marsh, and Barry Walls.
The ASPB and Mary Smith were praised for their exemplary efforts in developing the historic regulations. During the process of drafting, the ASPB looked to other states’ programs for best practices, met with local businesses and took public comments. Tree of Life Seeds CEO and Director of Hemp Advancement at the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, Jason Martin, commended the board’s efforts stating, “The Arkansas State Plant Board and the Industrial Hemp Committee have been a pleasure to work with. Their comprehensive work and due diligence are building a Hemp program that will serve as a model for other states that will soon implement similar programs.”