Is CBD oil legal In Wisconsin?
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:
CBD Oil in Wisconsin [Your Exclusive Guide to Purchasing CBD]
Sometimes CBD laws can seem particularly complicated or confusing. In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp with a maximum of 0.3% THC, but not CBD or any cannabinoids.
Although purchasing hemp-derived CBD is federally legal, state laws often cause confusion.
Even though purchasing hemp-derived CBD is federally legal, regulation can vary at the state level. In some states, specific legislation permits the cannabinoid’s use. Yet, there is often confusion. For example, it took several years for CBD oil in Wisconsin to become legal for all adults.
This guide focuses on the legality of CBD oil in Wisconsin and where you can purchase it. We also look into the penalties associated with the illegal use of marijuana.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Wisconsin?
Yes. Wisconsin Act 68, signed into law in November 2019, allows the cultivation, processing, sale, and use of hemp-derived products, including CBD oil, with a maximum THC content of 0.3%.
Therefore, one can now purchase hemp-derived CBD in Wisconsin without a doctor’s recommendation. It came after several years of confusion, beginning with the passing of Wisconsin Act 267 into law in April 2014, which legalized CBD for seizure disorders.
This legislation received the nickname ‘Lydia’s Law’ in honor of a young girl with severe epilepsy. Her parents had appealed for CBD legalization in the state as they believed the cannabinoid could help their daughter.
It was primarily a symbolic bill, however. Lydia’s Law stated that only CBD oil with FDA approval was permitted. At that time, no drug containing CBD had received any approval. As a consequence, doctors in Wisconsin couldn’t prescribe the cannabinoid.
Finally, in February 2017, Wisconsin lawmakers passed Senate Bill 10. It amended Lydia’s Law and allowed access to CBD oil. However, it only allowed the use of the cannabinoid if certified for medical use by a doctor.
New legislation seemed to ensure CBD became legal in the Badger State within weeks. Assembly Bill 49, a partner bill of SB 10, was passed in March 2017. It further reduced the restrictions on cannabinoids in Wisconsin.
After over two more years of complexity, Governor Evers finally signed Wisconsin Act 68 into law, ending concerns about CBD’s legality in the state.
Do You Need a Doctor’s Prescription to Buy CBD Oil in Wisconsin?
Until November 2019, the best way to avoid legal issues was to get a doctor’s recommendation when using cannabidiol.
However, physicians aren’t strictly permitted to prescribe CBD. Instead, they can ‘recommend’ it. Doctors can only prescribe FDA-approved products, and at present, Epidiolex is the only drug containing CBD that falls into this category.
Even if you could get a recommendation from a doctor to buy CBD oil in Wisconsin, there was no system in place for physicians to obtain and dispense the products. Fortunately, Wisconsin Act 68 has ended the need for a doctor’s recommendation to buy CBD.
How Old Do You Have to be to Buy CBD in Wisconsin?
You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase CBD oil in Wisconsin. It is against the law for any seller to allow a minor to buy cannabidiol products. If you visit a physical store, expect the staff member to ask you for ID.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Wisconsin
There is a huge array of physical stores dedicated to the sale of CBD. You might also find major retailers such as Walgreens stocking the cannabinoid. Many gas stations likely sell CBD in Wisconsin, though we don’t recommend such products. Here are five highly-rated stores in the state that sell CBD oil.
Name of Store
Kennedy Place, 2045 Atwood Ave # 113, Madison, WI 53704, United States
3174 S 27th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215, United States
2652 N Packerland Dr #B, Green Bay, WI 54303, United States
2609 E Johnson St, Madison, WI 53704, United States
3473 N Oakland Ave Ste 101, Milwaukee, WI 53211, United States
Alternatively, you can purchase it online from one of the following top-rated brands:
Ensure that whatever you buy has full third-party lab reports proving that the product contains a maximum of 0.3% THC.
When buying CBD oil, take note of the following before making a purchase:
- CBD content per serving
- Suggested use
- Name of the manufacturer
- Name of the lab that tested the product
- Whether it is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate
Marijuana Penalties in Wisconsin
At present, there is no means of purchasing marijuana legally in Wisconsin. Therefore, CBD oil is your only method of benefiting from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant.
The state has remained resolutely anti-marijuana since 1939, with all legalization efforts defeated. However, a 2018 referendum showed clear support for eliminating cannabis prohibition in the state. Two cities and 16 counties voted in favor of legalizing recreational and medical marijuana.
A Marquette Poll in 2019 found that 59% of Wisconsin residents favor adult-use cannabis.
In Wisconsin, a first marijuana offense is immediately classified as a misdemeanor. You could receive six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for possessing a small amount of marijuana. A second offense is a felony, and you could receive up to 3.5 years in prison, along with a fine of $10,000.
The sale of any amount of marijuana is also a felony, as is the cultivation of one plant. If caught selling over 200 grams or growing five or more plants, the possible prison term increases to six years.
Exceptions to these rules include Madison and Milwaukee. In Madison, Ordinance 23.30 allows residents to possess up to 28 grams of marijuana in their houses. In Milwaukee, you can store up to 25 grams in your home.
There is a bill in place that would decriminalize the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana in Wisconsin. However, it faces plenty of legislative obstacles.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Wisconsin
Wisconsin was yet another state that failed to clarify its rules surrounding CBD oil for a long time. However, Wisconsin Act 68 legalized hemp cultivation and the purchase, sale, and use of low-THC products derived from it.
It is easy for Wisconsin residents to purchase CBD. If you want to try out the cannabinoid, stick with a reputable seller, and ensure the THC content is no higher than 0.3%.