Wisconsin

Wisconsin: Senator Invests in Canadian Cannabis Farm Creating Conflict of Interest

Sen. Frank Lasee, Profiteer

Earlier this year, when the state senator voted to expand access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, he was doing so as an investor of a Canadian cannabis farm embroiled in turmoil

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2016, Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee of De Pere, bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp, according to public disclosures reviewed this week.

Wisconsin: Bills to Decriminalize Possession of 10 Grams of Cannabis Introduced

Wisconsin

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake), Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), unveiled Assembly Bill 409, a bill that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of cannabis, but acknowledged the bill's potentially grim fate in a conservative controlled Wisconsin Legislature.

On June 23, Senate Bill 318, a similar cannabis decriminalization bill introduced into the Wisconsin Senate, was referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

Wisconsin: Governor Signs Bill Expanding CBD Program

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed legislation legalizing the use of CBD oil for any medical condition if the patient is certified by a doctor, the Journal Sentinel reports.

“Today, we’re making it easier for people in our state to obtain CBD oil without a psychoactive effect to treat a medical condition as advised by their doctor,” the Republican governor said in the report.

The move expands the state's limited medical marijuana program enacted in 2014, which allows families and individuals to obtain CBD oil in extremely limited cases.

Few were able to benefit from the program because the law was so restrictive. The law bars in-state medical marijuana production and requires patients to obtain the oil either online or in a neighboring state with a more comprehensive medical cannabis program, such as Michigan.

There are proposals in both houses of the state legislature that would legalize a more complete medical marijuana program in Wisconsin, including in-state production and a system of dispensaries.

Wisconsin: Lawmakers Propose Bill To Restore Industrial Hemp

Fairwater Hemp Company 1917

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

MADISON, WIS. - Lawmakers are seeking to restore Wisconsin's once-prominent hemp industry, giving farmers the chance to add the versatile plant to their rotation.

Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and state Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) have proposed a bill to regulate the production of industrial hemp, which has thousands of uses. The bill has bi-partisan support within the state.

Representative Kremer recently issued the following statement from his office on February 23, 2017: "I am really excited to have had the opportunity to educate myself on this topic over the past six months. The 59th Assembly District has a rich history of agricultural hemp production in the first half of the 20th century and processed industrial hemp in Hartford for the war department. Today, the future is bright for this commodity -- new jobs, increased tax revenue, brand new tech industries and agricultural growth."

“I think we can be a leader on this, and that’s what I’m hoping to get with this bill,” said Kremer.

U.S.: GW Pharma Moves To Monopolize CBD Market

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bruce Barcott of Leafly has exposed some actions taken by GW Pharma (NASDAQ: GWPH) that seem to attempt to limit competition from suppliers of CBD.

Lobbyists have been engaged in several states by the company and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, companies which are both supporting legislation in South Dakota and Nebraska that would “effectively give GW/Greenwich a temporary monopoly on legal CBD products” in those states for its Epidiolex.

If given FDA approval, Epidiolex could be on the market in early 2018. Legislation advancing in both South Dakota and Nebraska suggests that CBD would be permitted only from FDA-approved providers.

Barcott says GW Pharma and Greenwich BioSciences have hired lobbyists in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin and possibly in California. Barcott attempted to contact GW Pharma for comment but has not yet received a reply. Should GW Pharma succeed in stifling competition, it could have a serious impact on hopeful in-state poducers of CBD, as well as companies both foreign and domestic who extract CBD from industrial hemp.

Wisconsin: Governor Walker Still Thinks Marijuana Is A Gateway Drug

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told reporters Thursday that he would support a CBD oil bill, but he is opposed to any measure that would bring marijuana into his state. He still thinks marijuana is a gateway drug.

Walker was promoting his new budget package in a visit to Western Technical College in La Crosse when he went as far as to link marijuana use with harder drugs.

“I do not, however, support measures that would open the door with legalized use of marijuana in state,” Walker said, “because law enforcement, increasingly, from one end of the state to another, from democrats as well as republican sheriffs, have told me, ‘Do not legalize marijuana, it is a gateway drug to other drugs.'”

Clinton Gallagher wrote a letter to the editor of The Cap Times, a local media outlet for Madison, Wisconsin, upset with the Governor resurrecting the 'gateway theory', which has been debunked.

“We must stop allowing hypocritical vote-seeking politicians to refer to marijuana as the gateway drug when everybody that was once a teenager knows it’s alcoholic beverages that cause death and destruction, insidiously sanctioned by all who oppose legalization of marijuana,” he wrote.

Wisconsin: Marijuana Harvest Festival Draws Big Crowd In Downtown Madison

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of Wisconsin's capitol building over the weekend to rally in support of legalizing marijuana.

The protest was part of the 46th annual Madison Hemp Festival, where many pro-marijuana activists spoke, sending a message to Wisconsin lawmakers.

"I very much believe that marijuana is not the most dangerous thing that people are walking around in their pockets, but we're treating it as it is," said 48th District State Representative Melissa Sargent. "We need to change our laws so that people can take care of their illnesses in a way that they deserve to."

Sargent has proposed several bills to legislators that would legalize marijuana in Wisconsin for both medical and recreational purposes.

The movement has its opposition, however.

"Melissa and I have discussed her position on legalization on marijuana, and I disagree with her," said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, who says while he would consider supporting the legalization of medical marijuana, under no circumstances will he support recreational use. "I don't believe that we are at a point that we know that marijuana is not an entry drug and I don't think we are at the point that marijuana has no lasting effects."

So far, all of Sargent's proposed bills have been shut down by Wisconsin legislators.

U.S.: Company Launches Initiative To Reduce Need For Pesticides On Marijuana

LegalStatesFacePesticideProblems[MarijuanaPackaging.com]

A long-time partner of the cannabis industry is looking to dry up the need for heavy pesticide use.

Quest Dehumidifiers, which sold its first dehumidifier to the marijuana industry in 2006, has launched an initiative to help growers and consumers better understand the impact humidity levels have on plant health, which in turn may potentially reduce the need for unpopular pesticides.

The effort comes in the wake of an increasing number of recalls, pending state regulations, and consumer demand for truly organic cannabis – all of which will continue to impact growers.

“Cultivators know humidity impacts plant growth, but we see varied levels of understanding when it comes to using dehumidification to help prevent devastating plant molds and fungus, such as powdery mildew,” said Clif Tomasini, product manager at Quest. “We want growers to know we have their back and will give them credible, evidence-based information to help them grow clean cannabis.”

Largely educational in nature, the initiative includes media partnerships, public outreach, in-person meetings with growers, potential funding of third-party research, white papers, and an increasing focus on digital content that answers growers’ biggest questions about dehumidification.

Wisconsin: Judge Dismisses Menominee Hemp Lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against the DEA for raiding Menominee tribal hemp grow and destroying crop.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A federal judge Monday dismissed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration for destroying an industrial hemp crop on the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's tribal land.

US District Judge William Griesbach dismissed the tribe's request for a ruling that the College of the Menominee Nation's industrial hemp crop was being legally grown and federal agents could not seize it.The DEA raided the tribe's hemp operation last fall and destroyed the plants. Tribal officials said the raid cost the tribe millions of dollars.

Industrial hemp has very little THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the component in marijuana that causes a euphoric feeling, or a "high". It has many commercial uses from health and beauty products to construction materials.

Griesbach wrote in his decision that the tribal land's location in the state means the tribe has to adhere to state law.

Wisconsin: DNR Steps Up Fight Against Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Newly published state figures show the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has expanded its role in combating marijuana, with a tenfold uptick in the number of marijuana-related arrests in the last four years.

In 2010, the DNR reported fewer than two dozen drug arrests, all involving marijuana. But in 2013 and 2014, it reported over 200 arrests.

DNR officials could not pinpoint a single reason for the spike, but said factors could include broader trends in drug use, and officer training.

“DNR has not done anything different as it relates to proactive drug patrols or involvement with any drug task force,” said George Althoff, a department spokesman.

There has been no common circumstances or location surrounding the marijuana-related arrests, the DNR said.

Wisconsin: Bernie Sanders Says Marijuana Should Not Be A Federal Crime

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Campaigning for President in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended marijuana, saying it should not be a federal crime.

Sanders criticized the American War On Drugs, saying that millions of lives have been "ruined" because they got a police record, and sometimes prison sentences, for possessing marijuana, reports Tom Kertscher at Politifact.

"Today, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin," Sanders said. "That is nuts."

"Now people can argue -- although I suspect in this audience, there may not be much of an argument -- about the pluses and minuses of marijuana," Sanders said, drawing cheers from the crowd of thousands at the Alliant Energy Center. "But everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin."

Sanders then pointed out he's introduced legislation which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act -- as in DEscheduling cannabis, not REscheduling it. (Merely moving marijuana to Schedule II would effectively hand over its control to Big Pharma.)

Wisconsin: Man Charged, Admitted To Smoking Pot "10 Minutes" Before Serious Crash

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A serious car crash in Mount Pleasant, WI on Monday resulted in charges today for a man who admitted to smoking marijuana ten minutes before the wreck, Fox 6 News reported.

Christopher Hetchler, 20, of Racine was charged with the following:

- Use of a vehicle with controlled substance in blood (great bodily harm)
- Operating with a detectable amount of restricted controlled substance in blood, causing injury (first offense)
- Possession of THC
- Possession of drug paraphernalia

The police report indicated that Hetchler's white Ford truck made a left turn directly into the path of a Dodge truck which struck the Ford, causing both vehicles to go into a spin.

The crash was witnessed by a Mount Pleasant police officer, who made sure the Dodge driver was alright.

The officer's report stated that the Ford driver was observed "sadly apologizing" to the motionless, seemingly lifeless passenger bleeding from his head.

The officer's report said that he detected a strong marijuana odor coming from the Ford and observed at least two baggies of marijuana and a glass pipe in the car.

The door had to be cut off in order to get Hetchler's passenger out. He was transported to the hospital via Flight For Life for his severe injuries.

The police report indicated that Hetchler said "yes, it was all mine" when asked about the marijuana and pipe. He admitted to smoking marijuana in the truck approximately ten minute before the crash.

Wisconsin: State Supreme Court Rules Cops No Longer Need A Search Warrant

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-3 decision that evidence seized in a person's private home during a warrantless search can be used against the person. The ruling deals a huge blow to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to protect citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.

The court expanded the "community caretaker" clause in making the decision, reports Justin Gardner at The Free Thought Project.

The case began when police went to Charles Matalonis' house after his brother was found bloodied at a nearby residence. Matalonis let the cops in, admitting he had fought with his brother, and they saw blood and marijuana in the apartment.

The cops asked to look inside a locked room, and when Matalonis refused to open it, they broke in. Inside the found a cannabis growing operation, whereupon Matalonis was arrested and charged with "manufacture of marijuana."

The Court of Appeals had previously ruled this to be an unreasonable search. But in the 4-3 majority opinion of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Justice Annette Ziegler found that police were not investigating a crime but exercising their "community caretaker" function by checking to make sure no other injured people were in the house.

Wisconsin: Menominee Tribe's Hemp Crop Destroyed By DEA Agents

WisconsinMenomineeHempRaid[WBAY]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal agents on Friday destroyed an industrial hemp crop on the lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

The tribe in May had legalized low THC, non-psychoactive industrial hemp by tribal licenses on its own land, reports Christie Green of CBS 58.

Congress last year passed a Farm Bill which creates an exemption to the Controlled Substances Act to allow for the cultivation and study of industrial hemp under some circumstances. The hemp crop was intended to be a legal crop allowed by the Farm Bill, according to the tribe.

"I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe," said Chairman Gary Besaw. "We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill.

"We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court," Besaw said. "Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado.

"I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can't grow industrial hemp like states, and even more importantly, why we don't deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?" Besaw said.

Wisconsin: Marijuana Decriminalization Movement Taking Off Across State

WisconsinPotLeafRoadSign

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More and more cities across Wisconsin are relaxing penalties against people caught with small amounts of marijuana, as the decriminalization movement sweeps across the state.

Nine of the state's 10 largest cities have already decriminalized simple cannabis possession, a Gannett Central Wisconsin Media review reveals, reports the Associated Press. Madison and Milwaukee were among the first cities in Wisconsin to relax their pot laws.

Stevens Point is the latest municipality in the state to adopt and then modify a new marijuana ordinance. Last month, the city reduced the fine for first-time pot possession to $100.

Under Wisconsin law, people caught with small amounts of weed can be charged with a misdemeanor crime, punishable by jail time and a permanent criminal record. With some cities in the state now enforcing lesser penalties, those "suspects" can now face anything from up to six months in jail, to no jail time or fine at all.

Some law enforcement types say they don't support decrim because they claim marijuana can lead to harder drugs, i.e., the long discredited "gateway theory." Decrim advocates say those caught with small amounts of cannabis shouldn't be treated any differently than other minor offenders.

Wisconsin: Menominee Tribe Approves Recreational, Medical Marijuana In Advisory Vote

Menominee-LandOfTheMenominee[Indianz.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A proposal to grow marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes on Thursday passed an advisory referendum vote by the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin.

The tribe said the results aren't binding, but advisory in nature, meaning the vote doesn't change the Tribal Controlled Substance Ordinance, reports Clare Kaley at WBAY. If the proposal is taken up at the tribal legislature level, the panel would need to amend the ordinance.

The tribe said it would take input from tribal members before creating a new ordinance for the use of marijuana.

After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejected a proposal for the tribe to build a casino in Kenosha, some members say marijuana is a way for the tribe to make some extra money.

"We want to do more for our people, but every situation we come up with gets denied or whatever," said Menominee tribe member Daylene Gladue. "If it came down to this now, then it had to be."

If the tribe approves growing marijuana it may only be available to tribal members, and will only allowed on tribal land. Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw noted it is an "open question" whether the tribe would be allowed to sell marijuana to non-Indians on the reservation.

The tribe said certain factors will be considered if it moves forward with the proposal. "Things like making sure minors do not have access to it, gangs are not involved in it, and that it does not go outside of the reservation to places where it's illegal," Besaw said.

Wisconsin: No Charges For Couple Found With Marijuana

WisconsinPoliceEncounter(GaryStork)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Madison, Wisconsin couple investigated for marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia in Baraboo won't be charged for possessing the controlled substance after citing a medical exemption.

The Baraboo Police Department and City Attorney Mark Reitz decided not to prosecute the couple after they provided authorities with valid Wisconsin medical marijuana authorizations from a physician, reports Elizabeth Onheiber at the Baraboo News Republic.

While looking into a complaint of a dog left in the vehicle of Greg and Karen Kinsley on September 13 at Sauk County Fairgrounds, Baraboo Police Sgt. Mark Lee and Det. Jeremy Drexler saw a marijuana pipe through the car window. They seized it, along with a small amount of cannabis, after resolving the pet issue.

The couple provided documentation from Wisconsin doctors recommending medical marijuana, and Karen Kinsley presented a valid Oregon medical marijuana registry card. Greg and Karen said their authorizations for medicinal cannabis are intended to treat Crohn's disease and the pain of scoliosis, respectively.

A little-known 1971 law allows Wisconsin citizens to possess marijuana with a valid doctor's note, and serves as an exemption to the Wisconsin Controlled Substances Act.

Wisconsin: Company Readies Hemp-Based Non-Prescription Cannabinoid Medication For Epilepsy

PuraMedBioScience(logo)

PuraMed BioScience, Inc., a company which researches, develops, and markets over-the-counter (OTC) medicinal and healthcare products on Friday announced it is nearing the completion of development of its new non-prescription, hemp-based, homeopathic medication for treatment of epilepsy symptoms including seizures and seizure-related headaches.

Both epilepsy and migraines appear to be triggered by the same cortical spreading depression (CSD) in the brain; the difference is the rate of reaction. This may be why many people who suffer from migraines are prescribed epilepsy medications.

The third most common neurological disorder in the US, epilepsy affects about 2.7 million people, with children and older adults being most susceptible. The condition also causes up to 50,000 sudden deaths each year.

Recent research has shown cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis, to be an effective therapy in the treatment of epilepsy symptoms.

"By incorporating standardized hemp oil into our current patented, over-the-counter migraine relief formula, MigraPure, we believe we can offer relief to people who not only suffer with migraines, but also offer relief to people who have seizure-related headaches and other epilepsy-type symptoms," said Russ Mitchell, CEO at PuraMed BioScience.

Wisconsin: Patients Receive Oregon Medical Marijuana Authorizations at Harvest Fest

Wisconsin-DennisBrennan(GreatMidwestMarijuanaHarvestFest2014)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Forty-eight Wisconsin medical marijuana patients this year got their Oregon medicinal cannabis authorizations at the annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest. "But wait," you may be thinking. "They live in Wisconsin, not Oregon." That's entirely true -- but according to those in the know, having an out-of-state medical marijuana authorization gives these patients some legal cover should the police come calling.

The authorizations were issued by THCF Medical Clinics at the Harvest Fest as part of something called The Ben Masel Project. Masel was a famous Yippie activist based in Madison who started the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest; he died suddenly from cancer three and a half years ago.

"The Oregon permit has saved several people in Wisconsin from arrest," THCF founder Paul Stanford told Hemp News. The fact that Oregon issues permits to out-of-state patients has been helpful to those in Wisconsin and other non-MMJ states, according to Stanford.

"This weekend, we helped 48 patients in Wisconsin get Oregon medical marijuana permits, bringing in almost $10,000 in state fees for the Oregon Health Authority," Stanford told us. "Really, the Wisconsin Legislature should act to help its sick and dying patients, and keep those funds in Wisconsin."

Stanford said speaking at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Fest, the 44th annual event, "is an old tradition" for him. "I first spoke here in Madison 25 years ago, in 1989, and I came back and spoke again in 1990 and many years since," he told us.

Wisconsin: Madison Police Chief Says Legalize Marijuana, Use Tax To Fund Drug Treatment

Wisconsin-MadisonPoliceChiefMikeKoval

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana should be legalized, taxed, and regulated, and the tax revenues should fund treatment programs for harder drugs, the police chief in Madison, Wisconsin, said on Wednesday.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed marijuana legalization during an interview with the State Journal about data showing African Americans in Madison were arrested or cited for marijuana at about 12 times the rate for whites in the city.

Efforts to enforce the marijuana laws are an "abject failure," Chief Koval said, adding the same is true of the broader War On Drugs. "We've done such an abysmal job using marijuana as a centerpiece of drug enforcement, that it's time to reorder and triage the necessities of what's more important now," he said.

Koval said it's time for Wisconsin to consider doing as Colorado and Washington did in legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis.

The police chief said he would like to see Wisconsin "acknowledge the failure" of marijuana prohibition and focus instead on the "infinite amount of challenges" posed by harder drugs such as heroin. Taxes from marijuana sales, Koval said, would create revenue for the state which could be used to fund drug treatment programs and expand the capacity of drug courts which divert users from the criminal justice system.

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