Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center issued a report stating that the sale and possession of cannabidiol (CBD) was illegal as a matter of state and federal law, and suggested that store owners and purchasers could be subject to arrest. Last week, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel issued guidance confirming that conclusion, claiming that law enforcement purported people were getting hurt or sick from products claiming to contain CBD.
Yesterday, the AG reversed course. After meeting with key stakeholders, Schimel announced that Wisconsin’s industrial hemp program allows Wisconsin farmers to grow and sell industrial hemp, as long as they obtain a permit and abide by state requirements, and that products made from industrial hemp, including CBD, are lawful:
“DOJ remains committed to ensuring that CBD oil for sale at retail outlets is safe for consumers… With the 2018 Farm Bill now working its way through Congress, it is likely that our current laws will be changed even further to make industrial hemp’s legality clear. Therefore, I am advising law enforcement not to take enforcement action against products made from industrial hemp that is grown under a lawful hemp research pilot program, including CBD, until Congress considers changes to the law, enabling the Wisconsin State Legislature to further clarify the status of these products.”
Why the sudden change?
First and foremost – kudos to Attorney General Schimel. It is too rare these days when a politician admits he was wrong, but when presented with the facts, he reversed course. Bravo!
Second, hemp has some powerful and persuasive advocates in the Badger State – State Senator Patrick Testin and State Rep. Jesse Kramer – who led the fight to legalize hemp in the General Assembly – met with the Attorney General, along with attorneys Larry Konopacki and Mike Queensland. Also at that meeting were state Farm Bureau President Jim Holte and his indefatigable deputy, Rob Richard, who have been national leaders in convincing the American Farm Bureau Federation and others to support permanent hemp legalization.
Finally, and most importantly: YOU. Hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD have become so popular – and Hemp Supporters so vocal – that we continue to win. In state after state, we’ve seen the same pattern – a law enforcement action or announcement, a popular uprising, and finally, a policy clarification of hemp’s legality.
Of course, we’d all breathe a lot easier if we didn’t have to keep fighting these battles. That’s why it is so important that Congress pass this year the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Please use the button below to insist that your Congressman and Senators co-sponsor S.2667 and HR 5485. And please share this email and our online portal with your friends and social media contacts.