Wisconsin to Vote on Hemp Legislation

The Wisconsin Legislature will hold a vote on two hemp bills today. Assembly Bill 206 and Senate Bill 188 will create a permanent hemp program in the state. The legislation closely follows the requirements outlined in the USDA’s hemp regulations. The delay in enacting this hemp legislation means that businesses will likely need to obtain a hemp license from the USDA for the 2020 growing season.

Wisconsin’s hemp pilot program is in its second year and is growing. In 2018, the state issued 245 grow licenses and 99 processor licenses. This year the Department of Agriculture received over 1,400 applications to grow hemp and 700 applications to process hemp in 2019. The legislation authorizes the Department of Agriculture to issue hemp cultivation licenses once the USDA approves the state’s hemp plan.

What is different about Wisconsin’s hemp legislation?

Wisconsin’s hemp legislation is unique in a couple of aspects.

  • Land that is owned by large corporations or trusts may not be used to grow hemp.

  • Persons that purchase hemp from a grower must pay the grower within 7 days of taking possession.

  • Purchasers of hemp products may not be prosecuted for possessing products that contain more than .3% THC so long as it is no more than .7% of the legal threshold, and hemp products are remediated to compliant THC levels.

  • Applicants for hemp licenses can prevent the Department of Agriculture from releasing personal information.

  • The legislation does not change the state’s requirements with regards to CBD. Persons must obtain a written certification from a doctor stating that CBD is needed to treat a medical condition.

  • The legislation implements truth-in-labeling requirements. Businesses may not knowingly make inaccurate claims about hemp or hemp products.

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