Is CBD oil legal In Wisconsin?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Wisconsin CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Wisconsin
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
Yes. In Wisconsin, cannabidiol (CBD) has been legal for medical use since 2014, while hemp-derived CBD is available for adults 18 and older. In fact, Wisconsin was historically one of the nation’s largest producers of hemp until it was prohibited federally in 1958.
CBD oil was legalized in Wisconsin for strict medical purposes under a bill dubbed Lydia’s Law in 2014. It was then legalized in 2017 for a more broad list of medical purposes for adults 18 and older, along with a pilot hemp production program. Those two medical CBD laws were limited, labeled as an “investigational drug permit” issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Wisconsin’s new legislation seeks to match the federal definition of hemp as laid out by the 2018 Farm Bill, which defines hemp as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC.
What is CBD?
CBD is the second-most-abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant behind THC, which is the compound that creates intoxicating effects. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is widely perceived to offer therapeutic health benefits for several conditions, demonstrating anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties, while also showcasing potential for pain relief.
A bottle of CBD oil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Even though hemp strains don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis into Schedule 1, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and created a pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule 1 by creating a legal threshold: Hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, and marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. Hemp-derived CBD was thus descheduled by the bill, but CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal because marijuana is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance.
The 2018 Farm Bill also presented the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of reevaluating its stance on such CBD products, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD.
Federal law still highly regulates the production and sale of hemp, and its cannabinoids, including CBD. The Farm Bill also provides that states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. In addition, states may attempt to regulate CBD food, beverage, dietary supplement, and cosmetic products, independently of the FDA finalizing its views on such products.
Wisconsin CBD laws
CBD oil was legalized for medical use in Wisconsin in 2014. The legislation, known as Lydia’s Law but formally called the Wisconsin Act 267, legalized CBD oil but with very strict medical regulations. It was permitted primarily for those with seizure conditions.
In 2017, CBD oil was legalized in Wisconsin when SB 10 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Introduced in the Senate and it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state Senate by a vote of 31-1. The bill legalized possession of CBD oil in the state with a doctor’s recommendation.
Wisconsin’s SB 10 had the foresight to require the state government to follow federal law if and when CBD oil was rescheduled at the national level. In March 2017, the Wisconsin Assembly passed Assembly Bill 49, which is the partner bill of SB 10, unanimously with a vote of 98-0, loosening restrictions surrounding CBD.
A bill currently moving through the legislature would clarify and match Wisconsin’s laws up with the 2018 Farm Bill, from a hemp production standpoint, defining the terms and THC percentage as lower than 0.3%. This bill, called Senate Bill 188 and its partner agricultural bill, Assembly Bill 206, both attempt to make a number of changes to Wisconsin’s current law relating to industrial hemp. They are both in progress as of Sep. 26, 2019.
It’s important to note that the FDA hasn’t provided a definitive answer as to how or when it will revise its rules to make CBD or CBD oil legal to add to food or dietary supplements.
The only form of CBD so far that has been approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a seizure medication manufactured by G.W. Pharmaceuticals.
Growing hemp in Wisconsin
In 2017, Wisconsin passed a pilot hemp program in order to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp. Called SB 199, the industrial hemp research program was limited to hemp below 1% THC in content, but this could be amended to meet the lower federal limit of 0.3% THC.
In order to produce industrial hemp plants for CBD oil in Wisconsin, a license is mandatory. The state has a hemp production application process by which farmers need to re-apply for annually. There are both grower and processor licenses which allow people to cultivate, store, handle, and convert industrial hemp into a marketable form.
Both are lifetime licenses that they need only get once and then re-register annually. If applicants are processing only hemp that they grow, they need only the grower license. The registration is through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Here are the license fees for hemp:
- Grower license (one-time fee) : $150 (0-30 acres), $5/acre (31-199 acres), $1,000 (200 acres or more)
- Processor license: No fee
- License modification: $50, plus fee for additional acreage as listed above
- Grower registration annual fee: $350
- Processor registration annual fee: $100
- Sampling/testing: $250 per sample and test; each field and hemp variety needs at least one sample/test
CBD Labeling requirements, testing requirements, are being determined by the DATCP and are included in pending legislation.
Wisconsin CBD possession limits
There is no current possession limit for adults 18 and older with a medical CBD recommendation in Wisconsin. According to a Wisconsin Statute 961.32(2m) (b), you can possess CBD without any THC if you have medical certification to treat a qualifying condition.
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Where to buy CBD in Wisconsin
You need to be at least 18 years old to purchase hemp-derived CBD in Wisconsin. There are many popular stores that sell CBD and hemp-based products throughout the state.
There is also the option to purchase online and have the CBD shipped to residents within Wisconsin. The U.S. Postal Service said it is legal to mail CBD if it meets the federal requirements of containing less than 0.3% THC. Weedmaps offers an extensive listing of reputable CBD brands and how to find them in your area.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
When looking for what CBD product to purchase, you need to take into account a few important ingredient list numbers and know what they mean when you see them.
The first thing you want to focus on is potency in milligrams. In addition, you will be able to find out, in general, the following information on most company’s packaging for CBD product labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel.
- Suggested use.
- Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
Is CBD oil legal In Wisconsin? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Wisconsin CBD laws Where
CBD in MKE: New hemp products are here, but are they legal and do they work?
CBD oil isn’t the same as pot, but it’s similar and available in many local joints. (Ahem.)
Today is National Hemp Day so we are rerunning this article from 2018.
Although there are nine states in the U.S. where recreational pot is legal – and 31 where medical marijuana is no longer a crime – Wisconsin does not land on either list, which is part of the reason why the legality of cannabidiol (CBD) is hazy here.
Cannabidiol and marijuana are both derived from hemp plants, but they are very different in effect when smoked or consumed. Marijuana – otherwise known as weed, pot, ganja, the devil’s lettuce, cheeba, bud, nug, wacky tobacky and so on – contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) whereas CBD – which doesn’t seem to have any nicknames yet – contains very little to none.
“The therapeutic uses of cannabis can’t be denied and people are ready for alternative sources of emotional and physical pain management,” Laura Morro, the manager of Canni Hemp Co.
Canni (pronounced “Can I”), is a hemp specialty shop owned by Colin and Megan Plant that opened at the end of September at 810 S. 5th St. in Walker’s Point.
Canni offers a wide range of products including tinctures/oils, smokables, vaping products, edibles, cold brew coffee, pet supplies, health and beauty products, apparel and a small line of grocery items.
“All of our tinctures are vegan, organic and non-GMO. We don’t carry anything in this store that doesn’t have third-party lab testing and a certificate of authenticity so we know exactly where it’s coming from and how it’s sourced,” says Morro. “That’s very important to us.”
Morro says everything in the store is legal because all of the products contain under .3 percent THC. Customers must be at least 18 years old to buy it.
Erth Dispensary, a business that’s now open in Bay View at 1200 E. Oklahoma Ave., offers a full line of CBD products and Milwaukee’s first “Bud Bar” featuring different strains of hemp flowers that customers can view under a microscope before purchase as well as pre-rolled organic smoking products.
Owners Jennifer Kawczynski and Jason Ranic also say CBD is legal.
“CBD is 100 percent legal in all 50 states. It is non-psychoactive, non-addicting and it is safe to use with little to no side effects,” says Kawczynski. “There is no trace when it comes to CBD usage that appears on blood or drug testing.”
And yet, the legality of CBD in Wisconsin gets confusing. In May of this year, the Department of Justice released this information which states the Wisconsin State Legislature allows the possession and distribution of CBD only for very limited circumstances that require a doctor’s certification along with approval from the Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board.
Thus, it is safe to say that, for now, CBD – which is not only available in specialty shops but mall kiosks, gas stations and adult entertainment shops as well – is tolerated in Wisconsin.
In the meantime, business is booming at Canni.
“We opened quietly, but we’ve had a lot of customers,” says Morro.
The vaping pens are Canni’s hottest sellers. They are available in two different styles with the most popular style priced at $32. There are five different pens with varying ingredients called “Euphoria,” “Relief,” “Sleep,” “Focus,” and “Calm,” each providing roughly 90 “hits” per pen.
Hempflower, which looks and smells very similar to marijuana, is also selling well at Canni, as are CBD-infused chocolate bars, gummy candies and cold-brew coffee.
Customers looking for a buzz, however, will be disappointed.
“Nothing in the store is going get you ‘high,’” says Morro. “There’s no ‘head stuff.’ For some people certain products create a calming effect, but it’s not recommended for recreational purposes. It’s very subtle.”
CBD products might reduce inflammation, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, chronic pain and autoimmune diseases. It’s also a popular alternative with people attempting to quit smoking nicotine cigarettes.
Like with marijuana, the serious health risks are low and it’s not possible to overdose using a CBD product.
“Nothing horrible is going to happen to you. At worst you’ll be tired,” says Morro.
And yet the grey area of CBD use ranges in at least 50 shades. How much to take without feeling sleepy and yet feeling something is different for everyone and something that is discovered over time and through very thoughtful and gradual use of the products.
Canni has samples available for people who want to experiment with it before committing and Morro stresses to everyone the importance of starting out small and paying close attention to how they are feeling.
“Dosing is very personal and you’re not going to get all the benefits if you don’t get the dosing down,” says Morro.
Some also wonder if CBD is effective at all or mostly a marketing sham.
Melissa Ryan says she has used CBD tinctures for a few years and although it’s not a miracle drug, it helps with her anxiety.
“I definitely feel calmer,” says Ryan. “And I don’t feel foggy or buzzed. But I have another friend who says it doesn’t do anything for them, so it depends on the person and what or how much you take, I guess.”
Whether or not someone should drive after smoking or ingesting CBD is another question with uncertain answers. Common sense says because it could make a person sleepy, driving isn’t a good idea and yet it would be difficult to detect a driver was experiencing any side effects from it.
Aside from the aforementioned specialty shops, CBD products are also available at a Mayfair Mall kiosk called 414 Hemp that’s owned by former alderman Mike McGee Jr. as well as all Outpost Natural Foods locations.
Later this month, Outpost will also offer CBD oil as an extra in smoothies or juice bar drinks as well as house-made cookies that feature CBD oil.
“CBD oil seems like a remedy for these times, helping with anxiety, pain and providing a feel-good balm, if you will, to both young people and elders,” says Lisa Malmarowski, Outpost marketing director.
Morro emphasizes the importance of buying CBD products at reputable shops as opposed to the internet or gas stations.
“Integrity matters. Knowing where your stuff is sourced matters and not all CBD is created equal. There’s a lot on the market and we want people to know that no matter what they are walking out with from our store it’s something of quality,” she says. “CBD has been life-changing for a lot of people and we’re just really happy and proud to bring it to the city.”
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Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee’s East Side and today, she lives in the Walker’s Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the ’90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that’s enough on that.
Always told she had a “radio voice,” Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly’s poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, “Topless,” and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she’s not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.
CBD in MKE: New hemp products are here, but are they legal and do they work? CBD oil isn’t the same as pot, but it’s similar and available in many local joints. (Ahem.) Today is National Hemp