Legislation introduced by Sen. Van Wanggaard that would eliminate the requirement that people have a prescription for cannabidiol (CBD) oil in order to use it has been assigned a bill number and committee. Under the proposal, people could not be prosecuted simply for possessing the oil.
2015 Assembly Bill 228, formerly known as LRB-1911, was assigned to the Assembly Committee on Children and Families.
AB228 has an impressive bipartisan roster of cosponsors in addition to lead sponsors Sen. Wanggaard and Rep. Scott Krug. Including both, there are 24 assembly representatives and 9 senators; Reps. Kahl, Macco, Craig, Brandtjen, Tittl, Kitchens, Spiros, E. Brooks, Doyle, Danou, Berceau, Subeck, Murphy, Ohnstad, Meyers, Pope, Weatherston, Hebl, Brostoff, Goyke, Sargent C. Taylor and Spreitzer, along with Senators Roth, Gudex, Marklein, Petrowski, L. Taylor, Ringhand, Bewley, C. Larson and Harris Dodd. Krug and Kahl were the assembly sponsors of last year’s bill which was passed in the 2013-2014 session and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker. Even before passage, it was clear that language mandating a prescription and approval by federal agencies would doom the bill to symbolic status.
Unlike other cannabis-related legislation, AB228 is certain to get a public hearing in the committee on Children and Families, although no meetings on the bill are scheduled as of this writing. The chair is Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin) and vice-chair Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger).
A number of AB228 sponsors also sit on the committee, Reps. E. Brooks, Brandtjen, Kahl and Subeck. Other committee members not currently on AB228 are Reps. Kerkman, Vorpagel, Heaton, Neylon, Johnson and Billings.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, bipartisan legislation has been filed by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with co-sponsors Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). Senate Bill 1333, the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2015, was introduced on Wednesday, May 13. S.1333 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude CBD and CBD-rich plants from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.
AB228 analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law designates tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) as a schedule I controlled substance. Current law specifies that THC does not include cannabidiol (CBD oil) in a form without a psychoactive effect that is dispensed by a pharmacy or physician approved by the Controlled Substances Board or that is possessed by an individual who has documentation from a physician that the CBD oil is used for the treatment of a seizure disorder. This bill eliminates the requirement that, to be excluded from the definition of THC, the CBD oil must be dispensed by an approved pharmacy or physician or possessed by an individual with such documentation.