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With CBD from Hemp Already Available, New Wisconsin Law Offers Little Benefit

The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a CBD bill, but CBD derived from hemp is already legal, regardless of prescription, in all 50 U.S. states.

Wisconsin recently passed a medical cannabis law, but it offers little to no additional benefit to the state’s residents. Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Senate Bill 10, a bipartisan-supported bill that legalizes the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil with the recommendation of a physician. However, CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in the stalks, seeds and flower of cannabis, is already legally accessible without a doctor’s recommendation in all 50 U.S. states.

CBD is legal, with consideration to its source. CBD oil derived from imported hemp with less than 0.3% THC is legal to import like other hemp product. It doesn’t require a prescription and is not a controlled substance or medication.

Wisconsin residents already have access to CBD hemp oil. The new law gives those in Wisconsin access to CBD extracted from marijuana.

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Wisconsin’s bill cleared the Senate in February with a 31-1 vote and passed the Assembly unanimously by a vote of 98-0 last month before being signed into law by Walker. The Legislature passed a similar bill in 2014 – Lydia’s Law — but that law was even more highly restrictive.

“Three years ago, we signed Lydia’s Law into effect…,” Walker said in a statement. “Today, we’re making it easier for people in our state to obtain CBD oil without a psychoactive effect… as advised by their doctor.”

Wisconsin’s new very limited bill makes possession of the marijuana-derived CBD oil legal with a doctor’s certification, but it is still against the law to produce or sell the oil in the state. Democratic Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) says it doesn’t go far enough because qualified patients still won’t be able to legally import the marijuana oil. The law, in reality, only protects those who are able to illegally obtain the marijuana-derived CBD oil from prosecution for possession.

Fifteen other states have adopted similar limited access CBD-only cannabis laws. Two Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers – Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) — are pushing for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation that would allow full marijuana when recommended by a doctor. A Marquett University Law School poll conducted last July found that 59 percent of voters in Wisconsin favor loosening marijuana laws. So far, however, the bills lack support from Republican lawmakers and Walker has said he does not support legalizing medical marijuana.

You can learn more about the legal status of CBD and the differences between hemp and marijuana by visiting our education page. Keep up with the growing legal cannabis industry by reading through our news feed.

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Post by Eve Ripley

Eve is a writer specializing in cannabis education and editorials related to cannabis industry news.

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