Late session bill would legalize Wisconsin CBD production

Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) is circulating LRB-4462/1, which authorizes the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to create a licensing system for producers of cannabidiol (CBD). The deadline for cosponsorship is today.

Here are more details:

To: All Legislators
From: Senator Larson

Re: Co-Sponsorship of LRB 4462 – relating to: production and possession of cannabidiol for treatment of a seizure disorder and providing a penalty

DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 5 p.m.

Last session, the Legislature passed “Lydia’s Law” (2013 Wisconsin Act 267), allowing families with seizure disorders to access nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) Oil with a prescription from a Wisconsin provider.

Since the bipartisan passage of this bill, I have heard from several of my neighbors regarding the barriers that still exist in trying to access CBD oil for their children.

Legislation currently making its way through the Legislature attempts to address some of the problems associated with accessing CBD oil. These bills, Senate Bill 221/Assembly Bill 228, specifies that possession (and use) of CBD oil without a prescription is not a Schedule I drug in Wisconsin, allowing for parents to possess and use CBD oil in Wisconsin without fear of prosecution.

While I am a proud co-sponsor of SB 221/AB 228, and am glad that the Assembly passed their version of the bill earlier this week, barriers for families devastated by seizure disorders will still exist even if it were to be signed into law. LRB 4462 will address these additional barriers by doing the following:

* Establishing a licensure program, administered by the Department of Safety and Professional Services for individuals to produce and distribute CBD oil

* Allowing a person who holds a license to manufacture CBD oil to possess tetrahydrocannabinols, so long as it is only going to be used to produce nonpsychoactive CBD oil

* Clarifying that any individual with the appropriate license may distribute CBD oil and any individual may possess CBD oil

If you would like to sign on to this legislation, please contact Senator Larson’s office at 6-7505 by Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 5 p.m.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

This bill establishes a licensure program administered by the Department of Safety and Professional Services for producers of cannabidiol.  Under the bill, a person may possess tetrahydrocannabinols to produce CBD oil, and may produce CBD oil and deliver it, only if the person is licensed by DSPS and only if the CBD oil is produced in a form without a psychoactive effect for the treatment of a seizure disorder.

The bill also makes certain changes to the requirements for possessing CBD oil and dispensing it to patients.  Current law designates THC as a schedule I controlled substance and defines THC to exclude CBD oil in a form without a psychoactive effect that is dispensed by a pharmacy or physician approved by the Controlled Substances Board to treat a seizure disorder or that is possessed by a person with documentation from a physician that the CBD oil is to treat a seizure disorder .  Under the bill, THC does not include CBD oil in a form without a psychoactive effect without regard to who dispenses it or possesses it.  The bill also specifies that any person may possess CBD oil to treat a seizure disorder and that any pharmacy or physician may dispense CBD oil to treat a seizure disorder .

For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as an appendix to this bill.


With the 2015-2016 session rapidly coming to a conclusion, LRB-4462/1  does not have much of a future this session. The Assembly has already adjourned for this session, and the Senate has only one floorperiod remaining, March 8 to 17, 2016. With 2016 being an election year with all state representatives and half of senators up for election, state business is grinding to a halt.

Larson himself is running for Milwaukee County Executive against incumbent Chris Aberle in the upcoming Spring General Election on April 5, 2016. The Wisconsin presidential primary is also held that day, so there should be much higher turnout than normal. This November’s elections will bring some new faces to the legislature. Hopefully they will be more open to listening to the strong and growing public support for ending cannabis prohibition.

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