Wisconsin Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS WISCONSIN'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Cannabis is still widely illegal in Wisconsin, with the exceptions of CBD and Hemp production and retail. The production of Hemp directly affects the CBD market in Wisconsin as Hemp is used to produce CBD. In Wisconsin, CBD can be prescribed by a physician to patients with qualifying conditions. Wisconsin is still accepting applications for one-time grower and processor licenses.
WHAT ARE WISCONSIN'S CANNABIS LAWS?
Wisconsin is lagging behind the times on cannabis policy reform. While neighboring Michigan and Illinois have legalized marijuana for adults’ use, and Minnesota has a medical cannabis program, Wisconsin remains stubbornly behind the times. It is one of only 23 states that still imposes jail on simple possession of cannabis, and one of only 17 that lacks a compassionate medical cannabis law. However, the state does allow for hemp production to support Wisconsin’s medical CBD market.
WHAT IS WISCONSIN'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
There is no application process in Wisconsin for medical or recreational cannabis. However, Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Products (DATCP) is currently accepting applications for Hemp grower and processor licenses throughout the state. You must have a license to grow or process hemp in Wisconsin. Both grower and processor licenses are one-time licenses you only need to obtain once. After October 31, 2020, one-time licenses will no longer apply as the USDA Interim Final Rule requires all hemp pilot programs expire.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN WISCONSIN?
Cannabis has remained widely illegal throughout the state of Wisconsin, however it has made strides in hemp and CBD legislation. In April 2014, Wisconsin lawmakers legalized the use of CBD for patients with certain medical conditions specifically seizure disorders. The law was later named, "Lydia's Law" in honor of a seven-year-old girl who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy; the girl's parents had pushed for CBD legislation in the state. The law was criticized for being solely symbolic as one of the added clauses stated that CBD oil must have FDA approval to be prescribed, but largely CBD products were NOT FDA approved, making it hard for patients to even obtain CBD. In mid-2015, a state legislator proposed an amendment to remove penalties for possession of CBD oil, mitigating the restrictive prescription requirements, but the amendment still would not provide a legal way to create or obtain CBD oil. In February 2017 the Wisconsin Senate passed Senate Bill which amended Lydia's Law and allowed for possession of CBD oil in Wisconsin if a doctor has certified the oil is being used to treat a medical condition.
DOES WISCONSIN HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Hemp is a form of cannabis, but lacks enough of the active ingredient THC to cause a “high” for people using the product. Hemp is used in the production of CBD oil, which is legal in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes. The state is currently accepting applications for Hemp grower and processor licenses.
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE WISCONSIN CANNABIS MARKET?
While Wisconsin is not currently accepting cannabis applications, there is still an opportunity to apply for Hemp grower and/or processor licenses. Connect us today to discuss the preliminary steps you could be taking now to better prepare yourself for when legalization passes and the application process opens.