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Schimel: Licensed Hemp Growers Allowed to Produce CBD Oil
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/11/2018

Wisconsin's attorney general is assuring farmers that if they follow the state's new licensing procedure to grow industrial hemp, they do not have to worry about being prosecuted for making Cannabidiol oil with their products. After meeting with agricultural stakeholders earlier in the week, General Brad Schimel issued a memo on Thursday saying his agency has always had full confidence in the successful implementation of the new hemp program in Wisconsin.

"The new industrial hemp program, which is administered by DATCP, allows Wisconsin farmers to grow and sell industrial hemp, as long as they obtain a permit and abide by certain DATCP requirements," Schimel wrote. "Farmers who participate in this program and follow the rules are exempt from criminal prosecution, and products made from industrial hemp, including CBD, are lawful."

Last week, the Department of Justice issued a analytical note stating that CBD is a byproduct of the marijuana plant (which also contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) and that law enforcement has encountered examples of products claiming to be CBD oil that resulted in people getting hurt and sick. That prompted lawmakers and farm organizations to request a meeting with Schimel to question the timing of the agency's announcement.

In his more recent comments, he said hemp has the promise of being an important part of the state's agricultural economy and that farmers who choose to participate in the pilot program deserve and need legislative and regulatory certainty from all parts of government. Specifically, Schimel reassured those at the meeting that farmers who follow the new policy would be able to sell the entire industrial hemp plant or parts of the plant to anyone and that it can be processed as CBD.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau said Thursday that in a time of low commodity prices, the new market opportunity for farmers that want to grow hemp could substantial.

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