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Farmer Wants Market to Allow Hemp Vendors in MI

A Grand Rapids farmers market banned the sale of hemp-related products.

Farmers Markert

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (AP) — A Michigan farmer is petitioning a Grand Rapids farmers market to reverse its decision banning the sale of hemp-related products.

Sean Duffy, who owns Rising Moon Farm in White Cloud, said the Fulton Street Farmers Market rejected his request to sell CBD-infused oil, tea and dried hemp leaves this spring, the Grand Rapids Press reported. The White Cloud farmer launched an online petition on 

"I don't understand what the problem is," Duffy said. "It's no different than if I were growing chamomile or peppermint." 

Rory Weston, the market's executive director, told WOOD-TV that the family-friendly market needs more information about regulating and monitoring hemp-related products before it can accept such vendors. 

Hemp is a plant in the cannabis family that's low in THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. CBD can be extracted from hemp and it doesn't cause a high. 

Hemp was removed from its designation as a Schedule I controlled substance after President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp. 

"We're not saying that it won't happen in the future for this market," Weston said. "There could be opportunity if it goes through the proper channels and we get the right information." 

Duffy questioned what other information is needed after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched a pilot program in April to help farmers and processors interested in growing industrial hemp. 

Duffy was among the more than 600 participants who obtained licenses. 

"I paid $1,450 so I could sell this product legally," he said. 

Duffy said he doesn't have funding to open his own store, and farmers markets are the best way to interact with customers. 

"What are we waiting for?" he asked. "The regulations are out. The law is passed on a federal and state level. There's nothing more to figure out."

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