Serving the citizens of Arkansas and the agricultural and business communities by providing information and unbiased enforcement of laws and regulations set by the Arkansas State Plant Board
Applications for Hemp Licensing
Applications for growing and processing/handling industrial hemp in Arkansas can be found on this webpage. There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee required for each application submitted. Applications should be e-mail submitted to the Program, but $50 application fees must be post-mailed to the Department WITH the first page of your completed application. If your application is approved for licensure, there are also additional fees associated with participation with the Program.
The Hemp Research Licensing Program heavily relies on e-mail communication use with approved Hemp Program License holders. There are many required forms associated with the Program and e-mail use ensures the timely receipt of all time-sensitive request and reporting forms. If this may be an issue for you, this should be taken into consideration before applying for a license with the Program.
The Department is unable to accept online payments for the Hemp Program at this time. All payments (cash, check, or money order) must be post-mailed to the Department with associated Program paperwork attached within the mailing envelope. This will ensure proper payment processing with the Department’s Accounting Office.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the first-page of their application is included with the $50 application fee to the Department.
Failure to include proper paperwork with payment may result in processing delays. If approved for participation with the Program, all Program Fee Invoices will be e-mailed directly to approved licensees.”
2021 APPLICATION DEADLINES
NEW Grower Application Deadline: April 30th, 2021
NEW Processor/Handler Application Deadline: NO Deadline – Accepted All-Year
RENEWAL Grower Application Deadline: April 2nd, 2021
RENEWAL Processor/Handler Deadline: May 28th, 2021
2021 APPLICATIONS FOR HEMP LICENSING
Prior to submitting an application with the Program, applicants MUST first review Program Rules, the 2021 Hemp Application Instructions Packet, and the 2021 Grower Orientation PowerPoint. Department staff is unable to assist applicants through the application process.
The Department is not in the position to offer direct consultation on completing a license application or to educate individuals about the production of industrial hemp.
Key Information to Understand about the Program:
- Licenses run on the ‘Fiscal Year’ from July 1st to June 30th annually, not on the normal calendar year. All licenses expire on June 30th, annually!
- Read the 2021 Grower Orientation PowerPoint!!!
- The Program is remaining a research program for the 2021 season.
- Annual criminal history background checks from Arkansas State Police are required for applicants and all key participants in a business entity.
- Any changes after a license is approved must be documented using the Site Modification Request form. Changes to licenses will require modification fees. The Department highly encourages growers and processors/handlers to make sure they have their final plans in place before submitting an application as to avoid site modification fees. Storage Location IDs for Growers are required!
- The Department requires the following in order to obtain a license: a research plan, proof of agriculture or research experience, seed acquisition plan, and a marketing plan.
- The Department Hemp Program Staff will not be able to assist applicants through the application process. This includes assistance with making aerial maps.
- The status of the application submitted will be communicated back to the applicant as soon as possible via e-mail. Keep in mind the Department has up to 60-days to review all Industrial Hemp Applications submitted, and application review may be suspended for a period of time depending on Program Staff workload.
- Make sure you are familiar with Section 3: Land Use Restrictions of Program Rules before applying for a Location ID within your application.
If approved for licensure with the Program, you will be issued a Licensing Invoice detailing (1) the $200 licensing fee payment, (2) applied acreage fee or applied processor/handler fee, and (3) $100 Location ID/GPS Verification fee for each Storage Location ID and/or Greenhouse Location ID requested for licensure.
A license will not be issued until the Licensing Invoice is paid in full by the due date indicated on the invoice, which is about 30 days from the date the invoice is generated.
Grower applicants need to take into consideration: (1) how many different hemp varieties they will be planting and (2) how many different Location IDs hemp will be grown and harvested at. These factors are extremely important during Harvest time because each compliance sample pulled by the Department prior to harvesting (pre-harvest samples) will be $100/each.
Compliance lab results, which determine whether a hemp crop can go back to market or not, will not be released by the Department until the Compliance Sampling Invoice is paid in full by the indicated due date on the invoice.
There will be three (3) different Program invoices e-mailed to approved licensees:
1) Licensing Invoice
2) Site Modification Invoice
3) Harvest/Compliance Sampling Invoice
All costs associated with the research program are the responsibility of the license holder, including profits and loss. The focus of this program is the collection of research data and learning through experience.
I Want to Grow Hemp. Where do I start?
- Determine what type of hemp you want to grow; what fits your farm operation: Grain, Fiber, or Floral Material for CBD extraction.
- Budget your operations accordingly, considering Program Fees, as well as general operational costs associated with growing or processing/handling hemp.
- Apply for and obtain a hemp Grower License from the Department.
- Find a buyer/processor for your intended harvest. As a starting point, you can find a list of licensed Processors on the Program Page titled “Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Overview.” Harvested materials can only be sold to licensed processors.
- Locate and obtain legal industrial hemp seeds or transplants. Seed companies must be licensed to deal seed into the State of Arkansas. Visit the Department Seed Section for more information about this permit. Transplants must have either a phytosanitary certificate or Nursery License in order to be brought into the State of Arkansas.
- Research proper crop production techniques before planting the crop.
- Proceed with caution!! There are absolutely no guarantees being involved with this Program.
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK INFO – REQUIRED
Applying for a license with this Program requires an annual Criminal Background Check from Arkansas State Police (ASP). All license signing authorities are required to submit a criminal history background check. If the license is for a company or business entity, all company ‘key participants’ with a vested interest in the company must also file and complete criminal history background checks from ASP.
The following link(s) will take you to the ASP Criminal Background Check System: https://www.ark.org/criminal/index.php?ac:show:contact=1
Select the “Manual Record Check Request” process.
Fill out the ASP-122 Form: https://static.ark.org/asp/pdf/asp_122.pdf Follow all ASP directions. This form requires a notarized signature from the person requesting the background check.
Release the criminal history background check results to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, 1 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. This is done under the “APPLICANT RECORD NOTICE” section of the ASP-122 Form.
Submit your criminal history background check request to Arkansas State Police with $25 payment. ASP will directly post-mail the background check results to the Department Hemp Program.
NOTE: The entire background check process can sometimes take up to two to three weeks to complete. Background checks must be received not more than fourteen (14) days following the date the application was received by the Department. The Department will not accept a background check report that occurred more than sixty (60) days prior to submission of the application.
LEGAL LAND DESCRIPTION – FOR ALL FIELD LOCATION IDS
New for the 2021 season, all outdoor Field growing site ‘Location IDs’ must have legal land description information associated with each licensed site.
A legal land description includes the following information:
This information is usually detailed in a land title/deed. You may have to contact the land or property owner for this detailed information.
AERIAL ‘LOCATION ID’ MAPS HELP
You are required to provide the Department a photographic aerial map of all growing, handling, processing, and storage locations. This requirement applies to all applicants/license holders and assists with the Department's required reporting to law enforcement agencies. Improper aerial Location ID maps will result in denial of a submitted application. Read all instructions/requirements very carefully.
For Location ID/aerial map-making help, refer to the 2021 Application Instructions Packet located here and at the top of this webpage.
If you have visited all of the Department’s hemp webpages (and read the Program Rules) but still have questions about the Program in Arkansas, please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.