Wisconsin Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS WISCONSIN'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/12/2022
Legalizing cannabis is gaining bipartisan traction in Wisconsin and over 61% of Wisconsinites in favor of an adult-use cannabis market.
In early January, 2022, Senator Mary Felzkowski (R) and Representative Patrick Snyder (R) introduced legislation to legalize and create the framework for a medical cannabis program in Wisconsin. The bill lays out the framework for the state regulations and the Medical Marijuana Regulatory Commission, which would be housed under the Department of Revenue. The Commission will oversee the program structure, administer licenses, enforce the law and determine the aspects of the cannabis laws in Wisconsin. This bill would also allow qualified primary care providers to provide the option of cannabis to their qualified patients. These recommendations may be in liquid oil, pill, tincture or topically formulated, but no cannabis flower would be permitted. These prescriptions will be provided tax-free to patients in the program and license fees will go towards state drug and alcohol abuse, prevention and treatment programs. The bill is currently out for circulation, and will be voted on this 2022 session.
WHAT ARE WISCONSIN’S CURRENT CANNABIS LAWS?
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 currently no application process in Wisconsin for medical or recreational cannabis.
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 renamed "Lydia's Law" in honor of a seven-year-old girl who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy and the girl's parents had pushed for CBD legislation in the state.
Lydia’s Law was criticized for being largely symbolic due to an added clause that specified CBD oil must have FDA approval to be prescribed. At the time, CBD oil did not yet have FDA approval - and a complex series of steps were required to allow trial usage - so Wisconsin doctors were not actually allowed to prescribe CBD, making it hard for patients to even obtain it. In mid-2015 a state legislator proposes an amendment to remove penalties for possession of CBD oil which mitigated the restrictive prescription requirements, but the amendment still would not provide a legal way to create or for patients to obtain CBD oil.
In February 2017 the Wisconsin Senate passed Senate Bill 10 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?
Industrial hemp was grown as early as 1908 in Wisconsin under the direction of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station. Currently, hemp production is legal in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes and used in the production of CBD oil. Effective January 1, 2022, hemp growers are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and hemp processors in the state of Wisconsin are no longer required to obtain a license.
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE WISCONSIN CANNABIS MARKET?
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Wisconsin. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.