Category: Wisconsin

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Federal PolicyFrom Our WritersHemp Industry NewsWisconsin

Feds Taking Over Wisconsin Hemp Program

terry roston

The Wisconsin hemp program transitions to federal control next year, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take over on January 1, 2022, replacing the state’s four-year pilot program. The change is expected to save farmers money through lower application fees and allow them to use private testing laboratories.

The change was announced last week by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), according to the report.

“There’s so many factors that go into it, but our thought on this whole process was we wanted to put the industry in the best opportunity to produce hemp in Wisconsin. Right now this transition is the best option.” — DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski, via Wisconsin State Journal

Because hemp farmers in Wisconsin already follow federal regulations, the change is not expected to disrupt hemp farming in the state, according to the report.

“We are collaborating with USDA for a smooth transition and providing hemp growers with the resources they need to understand any changes,” said DATCP’s Division of Agriculture Resource Management administrator Sara Walling in a statement.

Lastly, the state will continue to work with hemp farmers this season for testing. Processors—though they will no longer need a processing license from the state—will remain under state authority for consumer and food products.

Underground Dispensary
Author: Lukas Barfield

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cannabislawmakersLawslegal cannabisLegalizationmarijuanaNewsSenator Melissa AgardWisconsin

Wisconsin Lawmakers Push to Legalize Cannabis

terry roston

Wisconsin Senator Melissa Agard wants to finally legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. This week, the midwestern state’s lawmakers introduced legislation in an attempt to make it a reality. More than 60 percent of Wisconsin citizens already support fully legalizing marijuana, while over 80 percent support legalizing the consumption and selling of medical marijuana.

Agard announced the legislation outside of South Beloit’s marijuana dispensary. It’s located right on the state line between Illinois and Wisconsin. “Not only will this proposal allow our state to right past wrongs, it will also open countless doors to our farmers and agricultural sector to participate in a growing industry,” Agard said. “Wisconsin can no longer ignore the cannabis industry—we are losing out on millions of dollars and family sustaining jobs to our neighboring states.”

Agard has been advocating for legalizing marijuana for years. She is one of the new bill’s many Democratic sponsors in Wisconsin. By passing the bill, the senator wants to generate more economic support for the state. “Not only will this proposal allow our state to right past wrongs, it will also open countless doors to our farmers and agricultural sector to participate in a growing industry,” Agard said.

“Wisconsin can no longer ignore the cannabis industry—we are losing out on millions of dollars and family sustaining jobs to our neighboring states. […] Wisconsin is an island of prohibition. Prohibition has not worked when it comes to alcohol. It did not work with margarine, and it’s not working when it comes to cannabis.”

If cannabis becomes legal, $165 million in yearly tax revenue for Wisconsin is projected. The District of Columbia and 35 states, including Midwestern states such as Illinois and Michigan, are already reaping the benefits. Since Agard began representing District 16 earlier this year, she’s continued to advocate for her state to join a majority of the country in moving along with the times. Now, Agard is telling people to ask their legislators to sign the legislation, LRB 4361. Call local legislators, she implores. 

Months ago, the Senator even penned an op-ed, titled “It’s not too late for Wisconsin to lead on marijuana policy.” Since 2013, she’s called for legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. She’s even authored previous legislations in the state, to no avail. 

“I want to go back to the core reason that everyone should support full legalization in Wisconsin,” she wrote. “It helps us to live up to the aspirational words of our founding, that we are all created equal and should be treated as such under the laws of our state. We can lead in these efforts. There is no reason for Wisconsin to be the last state to legalize; we simply must have the political courage to do the right thing.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers wants to do the right thing, as well. Earlier this year, Evans proposed legalizing marijuana for the 2021-2023 biennial budget. If his plan is approved, $80 million out of the estimated $165 million state revenue would go directly into the 

“Community Reinvestment Fund.” 

The fund would support communicates harmed by outdated laws, which have worsened racial inequality in the state. “Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe products are available for both recreational and medicinal users,” Evans said, “and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state. Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”

The post Wisconsin Lawmakers Push to Legalize Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

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Author: Jack Giroux

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersLegalizationWisconsin

Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced in Wisconsin for Fifth Consecutive Year

terry roston

A cannabis legalization bill has been introduced in Wisconsin for the fifth consecutive legislative session despite previous versions of the bill never receiving a hearing by either the House or Senate, the Wisconsin Examiner reports. Democratic state Sen. Melissa Agard announced the bill in front of a dispensary in South Beloit, Illinois, which is right across the Wisconsin border.

“We know that Wisconsin is ready for legalizationpast ready for legalizationit is time for Wisconsin to do what we need to doto realize that prohibition has failed our state and it is past time to get this done for our community. Legalizing and taxing cannabis in Wisconsin, just like we already do with alcohol, ensures the controlled safe market for our community. Legalizing cannabis ensures there are safe products available to our friends, family, and neighbors.” Agard during a press conference

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had included the reforms in his 2021 executive budget; however, they were not included in the budget passed by lawmakers as Republican leaders who called legalization part of “a liberal wish list.”

The proposal would allow cannabis sales to adults 21-and-older, allow possession of up to 2 ounces by adults, and legalize the cultivation of up to six plants. Half of the tax revenues derived from the cannabis market would be earmarked for “underserved communities and communities wronged by” prohibition, Agard said during the press conference.

Agard also noted that Wisconsinwhich is bordered by Illinois and Michigan’s Upper Peninsulais “losing out on millions of dollars and family-sustaining jobs to our neighboring states.” Evers last year admitted he was “tired” of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) thanking him for the Wisconsin residents who cross the border to buy cannabis which leads to additional tax dollars for the state.

“We are losing money that we could be reinvesting to help support our friends and neighbors and make our state a place where people want to live, work, play, raise a family and plant their roots,” Agard said during her remarks.

The Wisconsin Senate’s top Republican, Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, said in April that he would not support any cannabis reforms in the state without federal action. He added that there is not enough support among the state’s Republican caucus for the legalization of either medical or recreational cannabis.

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Author: TG Branfalt

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