As part of the overview of how the 2018 Farm Bill is being interpreted and what to expect in response by various state legislators, we applied the Subjective Probability+Game Theory Model ( the "SP+GTM") algorithm for information and to design viable answers. Laws to protect hemp farmers identities need further study with no SP+GTM consensus. The lack of clarity added to the debate that a functioning business model is not attainable.
MICHIGAN - Hemp farmers worry privacy law could hurt business.
Many in Michigan’s fledgling hemp industry are concerned that a state privacy law prevents agriculture officials from disclosing hemp farmers’ identities and locations could negatively affect their businesses. As a stipulation under the 2018 Farm Bill, applicants who seek to produce and process hemp must give their GPS coordinates. Michigan attorney general’s office has determined that all information regarding hemp license holders is exempt from public release. A limitation is written into Michigan’s hemp law to protect farmers’ safety and secure their crops.
Michigan is one of a few states that does not offer a public listing of hemp farmers and processors. Many other states, including Colorado, Oklahoma, and Oregon, disclose participants in their hemp programs. The lack of a public list of state-approved hemp farmers and processors in Michigan is creating a problem as hemp businesses don’t know who is participating, making it increasingly difficult to build business connections. Not having a public list to differentiate licensed hemp farmers from marijuana growers could be an issue, especially with farmers potentially shipping plants within Michigan and across state lines for processing. Conversely, business connections are hard to make; knowing farmers’ identities and locations may be a good thing.
Congress designated hemp to be a commodity crop, like corn. If corn growers are entitled to their privacy, why not hemp? Why the disparity? SP+GTM concluded --- to assist law enforcement, whether marijuana is being grown, GPS coordinates should be available to prevent mistakes.
Michigan hemp farmers are also worried the threat of cross-pollination from hemp crops grown for grain or fiber could jeopardize hemp grown for CBD and other cannabinoids. Addressing the crop pollination challenges across the country is a good idea. The need to find a solution for CBD hemp growers under permit remains the issue. Knowing where fiber and seed under license are located remains controversial. That information should be made available to the other permit holders in the state for them to coordinate with each other to make decisions based on risk assessment.
Meanwhile, hemp farmers in Michigan and other states with laws in place to protect their identities can take matters into their own hands by joining industry groups and promoting their businesses.