Ag exception

Asked July 12, 2019, 2:23 PM EDT

Hi I originally asked if hemp qualifies for the ag exception. I was specifically wanting to know if building permits would be needed in the building of the barn. As I understand if you are using the structure specifically for agricultural purposes you are excepted from needing a building permit. To date I turned in all plans to the township and explained my plans. They said if I was growing anything else it would qualify but because it's hemp it doesn't qualify. I paid $50 at the first step and a additional over $700 for the building permit. Now they are wanting a HVAC plumbing and electrical too. The zoning officials name is Tex Sheteron 269-358-7480 sheteront@gmail.com. The building inspector is Rich Drew's 269-476-8887 redrews348@hotmail.com but I was directed to a gentleman named Adam.

Cass County Michigan hemp production

1 Response

Michigan Farm Bureau has posted a helpful resource titled, "Building Permit Exemption" (https://www.michfb.com/mi/farm_business_resources/natural_resources_and_environment/building_permit_...). The pertinent building codes are referenced which you may find useful as you talk with your local zoning official and building inspector. Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Permits Division (517-241-9313) which oversees building permits would be another place to contact with questions and concerns. You can reference Section 7605 of the 2018 Farm Bill (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-115hr2enr/pdf/BILLS-115hr2enr.pdf) to refer to the legalization of industrial hemp at the federal level. As I mentioned in my previous response, local officials may choose to remain in a "holding pattern" as we await final regulatory guidance from the USDA regarding implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, you can make the case that since industrial hemp has been legalized at the federal and state level (MI Prop 1 which legalized industrial hemp cultivation and MI HBs 6330, 6331 & 6380 which clarified regulation of industrial hemp research), it should be considered a legitimate agricultural crop. If there is a concern about industrial hemp's confusion with marijuana, you can also point them toward MDARD's website (https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/2019-lara-marijuana-hemp-11x17_650698_7.pdf) where they explain the legal differences between the two.