Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas State Plant Board received feedback from Arkansas farmers and businesses on the first draft of Regulations on the Industrial Hemp Research Program during a public meeting on January 4th.
Locally owned hemp genetics company, Tree of Life Seeds was in attendance to provide feedback on the proposed regulations. The afternoon meeting was well attended with approximately 80-100 attendees. The meeting, lead by Terry Walker, Director of the Plant Board and Mary Smith, Director of the Plant Board’s Seed Division was optimistic in tone and allowed each person to voice their opinions individually.
Developed by Mary Smith and the Industrial Hemp Committee, the proposed regulations were praised overall by the farmers and business representatives in attendance. The tone of the meeting was optimistic and productive and the feedback provided by attendees was beneficial and well received by the board. Tree of Life Seeds’ CEO, Jason Martin provided feedback on three topics which were echoed by several other attendees.
The first topic addressed concerned grower and processor licensing. The board confirmed that two separate licenses would be issued; one for licensed growers and one for licensed processors/ handlers. Licensed growers who wish to process any part of the hemp plant will be required to apply for a processor/ handler license in addition to the grower license.
The second topic addressed was related to the requirements for applicant’s farming experience. Several others in attendance reiterated this topic. The concerns were that requirements were too narrow and needed to be broadened. The board confirmed that the requirements would be modified to allow more Arkansans to qualify as applicants to grow hemp in the state.
The third topic addressed concerned land use restrictions. Current regulations require 1000 feet of distance between research plots, processing or storage facilities and any residential structure. Concerns were expressed regarding farmer’s existing homes on farmland and the definition of residential purposes. The board was understanding of those concerns and has indicated that modifications will be made to better fit the program’s needs.
Following the public hearing, the Industrial Hemp Committee will apply the above modifications and a several others of lesser concern, to a second draft of the regulations. Upon completion of the second draft, another public hearing will be held to allow for additional feedback from Arkansans. When the final draft is completed, it will go to the Governor for approval, and subsequently be forwarded to the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Arkansas Secretary of State for submission and filing.
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 CBD rich cultivars. Tree of Life Seeds has operations in Colorado and Arkansas. More information can be found at www.treeoflifeseeds.com or by emailing [email protected] .