Industrial Hemp Production in the U.S.: Overview, Update, & Legal Issues

Sponsored by the Agricultural and Food Law Consortium



In recent years, interest in the production of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity has increased at both the federal and state levels.  The Agricultural Act of 2015, commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill, modified longstanding U.S. policy regarding hemp production by allowing certain institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp so long as the laws of the applicable state allow such production.  In addition, hemp production has enjoyed a certain level of protection via language including the annual appropriations process.  This webinar will provide an update on the latest developments  and legal issues in this arena, including a review of states’ legislation regarding industrial hemp production.




This webinar was recorded on October 13, 2015.  To listen to a recording of the webinar, click here.


Harrison M. Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center

Harrison received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, after attending Mississippi State University and graduating from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He then earned an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law’s Graduate Program in Agricultural Law. Harrison has worked at the Center since 2001.  During that time, his title and job duties have spanned the range of graduate assistant, staff attorney, co-director, interim director and currently, director; in which capacity he has served since 2007.

He has taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law as part of the Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship for Agricultural Law, and has also served as a visiting professor at the Drake University Law School.  In addition, he formerly taught Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Introduction to Agricultural Law in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.  In that role, he was awarded the 2011-2012 Agricultural Business Club Teaching Award.

He is an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA), the nation’s only professional organization focused on the legal needs of the agricultural community, and was the first recipient of the AALA’s Excellence in Agricultural Law award in 2010.  Additionally, he is an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association, where he helped found the Agricultural Law Section, later served as interim chair and chair, and currently serves as vice-chair.  He is a frequent presenter on a range of topics and issues, including the farm bill, water law, and environmental law. He has authored articles on numerous subjects, including the National Organic Program, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the constitutionality of corporate farming laws, pesticide regulation and litigation, agritourism, states’ recreational use statutes, the Packers and Stockyards Act, agricultural bankruptcy issues, and environmental laws impacting agriculture.


Research & Materials


Powerpoint Presentation

Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity (Congressional Research Service RL32725)