Is CBD legal in Arkansas?

You May Be Wondering if CBD is Legal in Arkansas.

As CBD popularity grows, so might your interest and your curiosity. If you’re wondering whether natural remedies are legal in Arkansas, the Natural State, here’s what you need to know.    

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is known for its use as a natural and homeopathic medicine and is a preferred remedy for a variety of ailments and symptoms including pain relief, anti-inflammation, sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, acne, and even cancer and seizure disorders. 

As the use of CBD becomes more common, elevated production levels have resulted in providing many options for CBD and hemp-based products to consumers. 

Traditional oils and terpenes, vape pens, topicals, and edibles are just a few examples of what form CBD can be purchased in. CBD has been put in lotions, balms, creams, sprays, soaps, makeup, coffee, smoothies, tea, chocolate, and even bath bombs. 

The Farm Bill, CBD, and Arkansas 

Like most states, Arkansas’ laws on CBD adhere to the rules dictated in The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, a federal act of legislation more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill that separated hemp from marijuana and CBD from THC. 

Both hemp and marijuana plants fall under cannabis, so hemp, CBD, and non-intoxicating cannabis compounds fell subject to the same level of scheduling as THC, which was ruled a Schedule 1 substance in 1970 after the passing of the Controlled Substances Act.  

Schedule 1 substances are the most controlled substances under federal law, and marijuana and THC were placed here due to the intoxicating abilities of THC and to thwart potential addiction. 

The 2018 Farm Bill rescheduled hemp and CBD, recognizing that its properties and compounds are different from the marijuana plant, even though they are closely related. 

Now, hemp, its compounds, extractions, or cannabinoids are legal on the federal level, provided that they contain a THC concentration of no more than 0.3 percent. 

Arkansas’ Laws On CBD 

The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act made the planting, production, sale, and consumption of CBD legal throughout the state, provided activities remained within the confines of state law. 

As of 2018, hemp rules and regulations are overseen by a committee within the Arkansas Department of Agriculture called the Arkansas State Plant Board. 

The statutory laws in Arkansas also only permit CBD that contains THC concentration levels of 0.3 percent or less. 

Hemp vs. Cannabis -What you need to know

Both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant are subspecies of the cannabis plant. They are very similar, which can lead to confusion. 

The most important difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp plants don’t contain high levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, while marijuana plants do. 

THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychological effects produced by marijuana. In other words, THC can get you high while hemp and CBD cannot. 

Any hemp plant, property, or product containing THC concentrations of more than 0.3 percent are illegal and considered cannabis. 

If hemp or its derivatives (including CBD) contain less than 0.3 percent of THC they are legal and categorized as industrial hemp.

The Deal on Sales – You can legally sell CBD in Arkansas 

It is legal to sell hemp or CBD products in Arkansas as long as they meet one of these conditions: they are produced from industrial hemp or they do not contain hemp plant materials, seeds, or properties that are living. 

Until 2019, products considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a prescription medication also met the state’s sale conditions. 

This changed after the Arkansas government signed an act into law rescheduling hemp-made CBD, no longer considered it a controlled substance at the statutory level.

 This legislature also provided for the production, sale, and purchase of CBD products not approved by the federal government as medicinal.  

The FDA only approves a seizure medication called Epidolex as a CBD prescription medication at this time. 

Planting and Production of CBD – Agriculture in Arkansas

Those interested in planting or producing hemp and CBD must receive licensing through the state. 

To non-commercial hemp fans, this means that growing hemp in your backyard is illegal in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department and the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program have allowed for the licensing of hemp farmers and extraction processors since 2017.

Licensing for industrial hemp production is only provided by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Applications for licensing can be found on the Arkansas Agriculture Department website

Any industrial hemp found outside licensed industrial hemp property is considered contraband unless the person in possession of the hemp has their official license with them and/or documentation stating that the transport or import of the hemp was legal. 

Unlicensed or undocumented hemp found outside the industrial hemp premises can be lawfully taken by law enforcement authorities.

Is Marijuana Legal in Arkansas? 

The Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Initiative failed to pass when voted upon in 2020, and for now, marijuana remains completely illegal. 

However, the 2016 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment permits severely ill patients to possess and use medical marijuana if granted a doctor’s approval. This act also allows for medical marijuana licensing, manufacturing, and dispensaries. 

Patients may buy up to two and a half ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks. 


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Jack Studebaker

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