Marijuana Laws in Wisconsin:
In the State of Wisconsin, cannabis is a Schedule I hallucinogenic drug. Possessing even the smallest amount of marijuana for personal use will get you a hefty fine and possible jail time.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 10 into legislation in 2016. This expanded Lydia’s Law, the medical cannabis law put in place in 2014. This allows physicians to recommend cannabidiol (CBD) products to patients with any debilitating, chronic medical condition. In other words, qualifying patients could possess medicinal CBD products. However, it was still illegal to produce these products within the state.
Then, on April 17, 2017, Walker signed Act 4. This allows qualifying patients to possess CBD products without fear of state prosecution. So, if they somehow obtain the products out-of-state, it would be lawful, state-wise, to possess them in Wisconsin. To date, it is still illegal to produce or distribute these products in this state.
Representative Jimmy Anderson and Senator Chris Larson introduced S104 and A158 to legislatures. It proposes allowing local businesses to become state-licensed to produce and dispense CBD-infused products for medicinal treatments. Representative Melissa Sargent announced in July that she plans to introduce a bill that regulates, taxes and legalizes marijuana in Wisconsin for adult use.
Possessing Marijuana in Wisconsin
Lawmakers in Wisconsin have made it illegal to possess any amount of cannabis for any purpose. Penalties for such offenses are punishable as follows:
- First offense = Misdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine and no more than 6 months’ incarceration
- Second offense = Felony: Up to $10,000 fine and/or no more than 3 ½ years’ incarceration
- Within 1,000 feet of jail, pool, youth center, drug treatment facility, housing project, public park or school = 100 hours of community service added to standard penalties for the crime
Concentrates & Hashish
According to Wisconsin state law, any compound that contains THC is considered to be a Schedule I drug. This definition does not include concentrate or hashish. However, the offenses and penalties for those offenses are the same as those for possessing plant for cannabis. See “Possessing Marijuana in Wisconsin” for penalty details.
Because it is illegal to possess or use marijuana, it is also unlawful to use or possess cannabis paraphernalia in Wisconsin. The state’s definition of paraphernalia is any item or device that allows you to distribute, cultivate, inhale or ingest marijuana. This is a misdemeanor offense with up to a $500 fine and no more than 30 days’ incarceration.
SB 10, which was signed in 2016, allows Wisconsin qualifying patients with physician recommendations to possess CBD products in the state. These products must be in forms that do not provide psychoactive effects. In other words, they must contain CBD, but cannot contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Selling Marijuana in Wisconsin
It is a felony crime to cultivate or sell any amount of cannabis in Wisconsin. Related crimes are punishable as follows:
- Under 200 grams (under 4 plants) = Fines up to $10,000 and/or no more than 3 ½ years’ incarceration
- Between 200 to 1,000 grams (5 to 12 plants) = Fines up to $10,000 and/or no more than 6 years’ incarceration
- Between 1,000 to 2,500 grams (21 to 50 plants) = Fines up to $25,000 and/or no more than 10 years’ incarceration
- Between 2,500 to 10,000 grams (51 to 200 plants) = Fines up to $25,000 and/or no more than 12 ½ years’ incarceration
- Over 10,000 grams (over 200 plants) = Fines up to $25,000 and/or no more than 15 years’ incarceration
No one may sell drug paraphernalia in Wisconsin. Such crimes are misdemeanors, and punishable as follows:
- Selling = Up to $1,000 fine and/or incarceration for 90 days
- Selling to minor = Up to $10,000 fine and/or incarceration for no more than 9 months
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Wisconsin
Wisconsin lawmakers punish crimes related to manufacturing, cultivating and growing cannabis the same as those related to selling the drug. Related penalties are based on the amount of plants possessed. See “Selling Marijuana in Wisconsin” for penalty details (plant amounts).
Current Wisconsin law allows qualifying patients to possess CBD products for medicinal purposes. However, state lawmakers have yet to make it legal for any entity to produce these products.
Two state legislators have introduced bills that would change this Catch 22 situation. S 104 and A 158 would allow approved businesses in Wisconsin to become licensed to produce CBD products and dispense them to qualifying medical cannabis patients.
Using Marijuana in Wisconsin
Wisconsin lawmakers have yet to allow the use of the plant form of cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes. It is unlawful to inhale, ingest, consume or use the plant form of marijuana in this state.
However, Wisconsin state law does allow patients with qualifying medical conditions to possess and use CBD-only products for medical treatment purposes. These products contain CBD, but cannot contain any THC.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Wisconsin
Under Wisconsin state law, any property related to a crime involving a controlled substances is subject to confiscation. The same goes for vehicles, and any items used to distribute controlled substances.
Any person convicted of a violation of Wisconsin’s Controlled Substances Act is subject to driver’s license suspension between 6 months to 5 years. Depending on the number of drug convictions received in the past, the defendant may be approved for an occupation license until the suspension is complete.
Wisconsin’s per se drugged driving law forbids anyone from operating a vehicle while under the influence of any illicit drug, including the plant form of cannabis and marijuana products.
Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]