Plant Industries

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

Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Overview


The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) is conducting a Hemp Research Licensing Program (Program) as authorized by state and federal laws. No person shall grow, handle, broker, or process hemp in Arkansas without first obtaining a license issued by the Department. The Program will continue to operate under federal 2014 Farm Bill guidelines for the 2021 grow season, as permitted by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, ratified into federal law on October 1, 2020.

*Lists of current Program Licensees are located on this webpage*

The Program licenses Hemp Growers and Hemp Processor/Handlers to conduct research operations and generate industry data in order to assess the agricultural and economic potential of industrial hemp production in Arkansas. Since the research program is still in the beginning stages in Arkansas, there is still much to learn and investigate with this new agricultural endeavor.

Please be mindful that there are many uncertainties associated with the research program, including financial loss. Currently, the Department is unable to offer any financial assistance to program participants. The hemp marketplace is still in its infancy. Supply chains are still developing, hemp varieties are unpredictable, and many regulatory issues remain unresolved at the federal level. Market options for fiber and grain are limited, and prices for floral material have drastically declined. Before you do anything, please assess your financial risk before entering the industry.

The Department asks farmers to really consider the financial risk before entering the industrial hemp industry. “Don’t plant more than you can afford to lose!”

Hemp requires an Arkansas Department of Agriculture License to Grow, Handle, Process, Market, or Store

Individuals and businesses who would like to be considered for a license to grow, handle, process, market, or store hemp must submit the appropriate license application to the Department Hemp Program. For more information about licensing applications, please visit the Applications for Hemp Licensing tab.


The Department has made available two complete lists of current Hemp License Holders. One list is for licensed Hemp Growers, and the other is for licensed Hemp Processor/Handlers. These lists are located on this webpage tab. Lists are updated from time-to-time, so please be patient with us as we continue to update these lists for your convenience.



For a list of licensed Arkansas Seed Dealer/Labeler’s, please visit the Department Seed Section/Seed Certification Program.

In order to distribute or sell agricultural seed for planting (including hemp seed) into or within Arkansas, an individual or business must be licensed to do so. For more information about the Arkansas Seed Dealer/Labeler License, please contact the Department Seed Section or visit the Seed Section Website. Please keep in mind that if you are wishing to distribute hemp seed you must also be licensed to grow industrial hemp through your state’s department of agriculture.

If you still have questions surrounding the Program, please send inquiries to

Supporting, Protecting, and Growing Arkansas Agriculture and Forestry
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1 Natural Resources Dr.
Little Rock, AR
(501) 225-1598