• In Wisconsin, only individuals with medical conditions can lawfully possess and consume cannabidiol (CBD) oil(1)
  • Wisconsin law requires these individuals to procure a written certificate from a state-approved physician. The certificate must indicate that CBD oil is recommended to help with their medical condition(2).
  • The state of Wisconsin launched an industrial hemp program legalizing industrial hemp cultivation and processing(3).
  • Wisconsin’s industrial hemp program aligns with the United States Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp not exceeding 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in December 2018. Consuming THC may cause psychoactive effects(4).
  • Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil is widely available in the United States. CBD oil may possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety properties(5).

In Wisconsin, hemp-derived CBD oil may be lawfully possessed and consumed by individuals with medical conditions. These individuals must procure a doctor’s certificate, indicating that CBD oil is recommended to help with their medical condition(6).

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid or naturally occurring compound prevalent in Cannabis sativa plants (marijuana and hemp).

Consumers may purchase CBD oil because of its potential therapeutic benefits. A study showed that consuming CBD may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and anti-anxiety effects(7).

CBD oil’s legality in the United States is not consistent due to varying state laws and different cannabinoid concentrations provided by manufacturers. 

The state launched an industrial hemp pilot program, which legalized industrial hemp production and cultivation. The program also legalized the selling and consumption of hemp-derived CBD oil containing 0.3% or less THC(8). 

However, the state’s CBD regulation does not fully comply with federal law.

In 2018, the United States legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, granted that the cannabis variety does not exceed 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Consuming THC may cause psychoactive effects(9)

Unlike Wisconsin laws, the Farm Bill, which allowed the legalization of industrial hemp and derivatives, did not specify that only individuals with certain medical conditions can legally consume hemp products.

Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits CBD products from being marketed as a treatment or prevention for medical conditions. CBD manufacturers are also prohibited from adding cannabidiol or other active cannabis compounds into food products(10).

Wisconsin CBD Laws

In 2013, the use of CBD oil was reserved for individuals with seizure disorders. Wisconsin Act 267 (Lydia’s Law) was promulgated, authorizing licensed physicians to dispense or prescribe CBD oil to patients(11).

In March 2017, Assembly Bill 49 was passed to widen the scope of medical conditions covered by Wisconsin Act 267. The bill aimed to include other ailments to the qualifying conditions, not just seizure disorders(12). 

Assembly Bill 49 was followed by the passage of Senate Bill 10, signed by the then Governor Scott Walker on April 18, 2017. The bill allowed state-approved physicians and pharmacists to dispense non-psychoactive CBD oil to individuals with medical conditions(13).

Senate Bill 10 also specified that individuals with a written certificate or prescription from licensed physicians may possess non-psychoactive hemp-derived CBD oil in any form. The bill did not set the age limit for hemp-derived CBD consumption(14).

One year after the signing of the 2018 US Farm Bill, Wisconsin amended its  CBD laws. Wisconsin law aligned with the federal law, allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp(15)

The Wisconsin Act 68, which was implemented in Senate Bill 188, launched an industrial hemp pilot program. The program allowed the cultivation, processing, sale, and consumption of hemp-derived products, including CBD oil(16). 

Wisconsin Act 68 was set to expire on October 31, 2020. However, on October 1, 2020, Section 122 of the Continuing Appropriations Act extended the industrial hemp program(17).

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATP) has determined that the program provides the Wisconsin hemp industry the greatest opportunity to flourish further, hence the extension(18). Thus, DATP seeks to focus on supporting the hemp grower and processor communities. 

According to the state’s Attorney General in 2018, CBD oil is still reserved for individuals with medical conditions(19).

A press release issued by then Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel stated that CBD oil helps certain citizens. Thus, the legislature allowed select individuals to have access to CBD(20).

In 2019, Assembly Bill 206 proposed removing hemp-derived CBD oil with non-psychoactive THC content from the list of Schedule I controlled substances(21).

The bill also proposed that individuals who purchase CBD oil may not be prosecuted if the product has no more than 0.7% THC over the permissible THC limit and if these individuals have no reason to believe that the product is over hemp’s permissible THC limit.

Moreover, removing hemp-derived CBD oil from the controlled substance list allows anyone to possess the product even without a medical condition.

Unfortunately, Assembly Bill 206 failed to pass the Senate Joint Resolution on April 1, 2020(22).

Wisconsin Statute 961.32(2m) (b) clearly stated that only individuals with a doctor’s certificate may possess hemp-derived CBD products in the state. The statute did not specify any possession limits for such individuals(23).

Currently, state laws mandate that the unlawful possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, such as a marijuana-derived CBD oil, is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or a maximum of six months imprisonment (for the first offense)(24). 

In Milwaukee, first-time offenders for the possession of marijuana not exceeding 25 grams may receive the equivalent of a municipal ticket. Second-time offenders are charged with a criminal offense(25).

On a federal level, hemp-derived CBD is no longer covered by the Controlled Substances Act if THC levels do not exceed 0.3%(26).

It is unclear whether unlawful possession of hemp-derived CBD oil is subject to persecution by law enforcement(27).

Wisconsin Marijuana Laws

Wisconsin currently does not have a medical marijuana program. Thus, recreational use and medical use of marijuana are prohibited in the state.

Wisconsin Act 267 or Lydia’s Law only allows marijuana-derived CBD oil to be used for alleviating seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. The law does not cover medical cannabis products or other forms of marijuana(28).

CBD Licensing Requirements

Growers and processors must obtain one-time licenses and register annually to harvest industrial hemp. They can obtain these licenses from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATC)(29). 

The DATC only issues licenses to individuals who passed the background checks. The applicant must pay licensing and annual registration fees, in addition to submitting various forms and agreements(30). 

CBD license requirements are only imposed on growers and processors. Retailers may sell lawfully-produced hemp-derived CBD products without a license from the DATC(31).

Testing Requirements

Growers must submit a harvest notification at least 30 days before harvest. The licensee must then provide DATC’s inspector access to procure a hemp sample from each lot(32)

Growers must pay a $250 sampling fee for each lot.

If the samples indicate more than 0.3% THC, DATC is authorized to order the licensee to destroy the crops. The growers must send a notification of destruction from 30 days before the destruction of crops(33).

For more information on the licensing and testing requirements for CBD oil, individuals may visit www.datcp.wi.gov.

Buying CBD Legally

Before buying CBD, individuals must be cautious of claims without proof. Some products are advertised to be 100% organic, non-GMO, vegan, or gluten-free.

Not all CBD companies practice truthful labeling. Individuals must conduct their research and read the label carefully to ensure product quality. They can start by checking the product’s certificate of analysis (COA). 

The COA is a third-party laboratory test indicating the cannabinoid concentration of the product. It also determines if the product is free from harmful chemicals, such as microbial contaminants, heavy metals, and pesticides. 

How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy

Searching for a CBD company with ethical business practices can be difficult without any resources. Fortunately, some organizations set the standard for CBD companies, such as the Better Business Bureau and the US Hemp Authority.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides CBD oil consumers with comprehensive ratings and reviews on CBD stores and manufacturers. BBB-accredited brands have passed in several categories, like transparency, customer service, and ethical business practices.

Some of the BB-accredited CBD stores in Wisconsin include the following(34):

  • Canni Hemp Co. – 810 S 5th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204-1729
  • Idealvapor, LLC – 120 Henry Dr. Suite 4, Portage, WI 53901-2609
  • Leafy Green Health and Wellness, LLC – 4440 S Rachel Ln, New Berlin, WI 53151-6728
  • Green Acres CBD 820 – Park Ave, Beaver Dam, WI 53916-2268
  • TruCannaBliss – 8311 W Brown Deer Rd, Brown Deer, WI 53223-1715
  • Your CBD Store – 4900 Spring St Ste 103, Mount Pleasant, WI 53406-2920

The US Hemp Authority audits CBD companies that are applying for accreditation. 

These organizations help determine if other customers or third-party inspectors evaluated the products.

Membership to hemp organizations, such as Wisconsin Hemp Farmers and Manufacturers Association and Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, is another primary criterion when choosing CBD products in Wisconsin. 

To choose the best CBD oil in Wisconsin, consumers must refer to the information indicated on the CBD product label:

  • Manufacturer name
  • CBD oil type (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate)
  • CBD and THC Concentration
  • Bar code, quick response (QR) code, or website link that leads to the COA
  • Batch code or ID code

Consumers may check the manufacturer’s standing or its Better Business Bureau rating. If the manufacturer has a low rating, it is advisable to look for another brand. 

Consumers must watch out for CBD companies that are not transparent with their hemp source and extraction process. 

Consumers must check what type of CBD oil a product is. The label must specify if the product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate.

The CBD concentration is usually available in milligrams per millimeter (mg/ml). The concentration determines if the serving is weak or potent.

Before buying CBD oil, consumers must check if the label has a batch code or ID code. A batch code can help consumers verify if the COA is updated. 

All COAs must contain the manufacturer name, product name, product concentration, batch code, and testing date.

Where to Buy CBD Products Legally

Individuals with doctor’s certificates may buy CBD products from wellness stores, CBD dispensaries, and local retailers in Wisconsin

Consumers may buy CBD tinctures, CBD gummies, and CBD vape pens in Wisconsin.

According to DATC, the state allows hemp extracts to be infused into foods or beverages for human consumption, granted that they are produced in Wisconsin. CBD-infused edibles for animals are prohibited(35). 

Furthermore, the 2017 Wisconsin Act 4 from Senate Bill 10 does not prohibit any form of CBD product for humans(36).

Understanding CBD

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid prevalent in hemp plants (Cannabis sativa). Marijuana plants, another variety of Cannabis sativa, may also have some concentrations of CBD.

Hemp plants are known to contain high CBD with trace amounts of THC. The plants undergo an extraction process to separate the cannabinoids from other components and the plant matrix. 

In CBD tinctures, the hemp extracts are suspended in a carrier oil, such as hemp oil derived from hemp seeds or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil derived from coconuts.

Three types of hemp-derived CBD oil products are currently available in the market:

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, terpenes, and minerals found in hemp plants. Ingesting a full-spectrum CBD oil produces the “entourage effect.” 

The term “entourage effect” implies that consuming together cannabinoids and other hemp components, like terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and essential oils, has a more significant benefit than consuming them individually.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and compounds in hemp, except THC. This product suits consumers who prefer not to take THC into their system. 

CBD isolate usually comes in a powder form and consists of only pure CBD. 

Conclusion

Wisconsin’s state government has yet to fully align with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the non-medical use of hemp-derived CBD oil

Assembly Bill 206 was the last motion to remove non-psychoactive CBD oil from the list of controlled substances. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the Senate Joint Resolution. 

Currently, lawmakers have not passed a new bill to replace Assembly Bill 206. 

Individuals must obtain a written certificate from a state-approved physician recommending CBD oil to help with the medical condition

With the certificate, one may lawfully obtain hemp-derived CBD oil in Wisconsin.

Disclaimer: The findings shared in this article is based on information retrieved on November 17, 2020. The legal status and regulations of CBD may change without notice. Readers must not treat the contents of this article as legal advice. 


  1. Wisconsin Legislature. Senate Bill 10. 2017 Wisconsin Act 4. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/acts/4 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/HempFAQCBD.pdf
  4. The US Food and Drug Administration. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019 
  5. Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 152–161. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0006 
  6. Wisconsin Legislature. Senate Bill 10. 2017 Wisconsin Act 4. Op cit.
  7. Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). Op cit.
  8. Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. Op cit.
  9. The US Food and Drug Administration. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. Op cit.
  10. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  11. Wisconsin Legislature. 2013 Wisconsin Act 267. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/acts/267
  12. Wisconsin Legislature. Assembly Bill 49. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/proposals/ab49
  13. Wisconsin Legislature. Senate Bill 10. 2017 Wisconsin Act 4. Op cit.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Wisconsin Legislature. 2019 Wisconsin Act 68. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/related/acts/68.pdf
  16. Ibid.
  17. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/Hemp.aspx
  18. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATP). (2020, Oct. 15). Transition to New Wisconsin State Hemp Plan Postponed; Current Pilot Program Extended. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/October15HempRelease.aspx#:~:text=The%20recently%20signed%20H.R.,programs%20until%20September%2030%2C%202021.&text=To%20ensure%20program%20continuity%2C%20DATCP,current%20hemp%20program%20in%20Wisconsin.
  19. Wisconsin Department of Justice. Statement from the Attorney General Regarding CBD Oil. Retrieved from https://www.doj.state.wi.us/sites/default/files/news-media/5.10.18_CBD.pdf
  20. Ibid.
  21. Wisconsin Legislature. Assembly Bill 206. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/related/proposals/ab206
  22. Ibid.
  23. Wisconsin Legislature. Wisconsin Statute 961.32(2m) (b). Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/961/iii/32/2m/b
  24. Wisconsin.gov. Marijuana in Wisconsin. Retrieved from https://scaoda.wisconsin.gov/scfiles/marijuana/marijuana-072216.pdf
  25. Ibid.
  26. The US Food and Drug Administration. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill. Op cit.
  27. Wisconsin State Legislature. Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Retrieved from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/961/iii/32/2m/b
  28. Wisconsin Legislature. 2013 Wisconsin Act 267. Op cit.  
  29. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. Program Services. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/Hemp.aspx 
  30. Ibid.
  31. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. FAQ. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/HempFAQCBD.pdf
  32. Wisconsin Hemp Pilot Research Program. Program Services. Op cit.
  33. Ibid. 
  34. Better Business Bureau. Accredited CBD Oil Stores in Wisconsin. Retrieved from https://www.bbb.org/search?find_country=USA&find_entity=81000-800&find_id=6057_000-000-7244&find_latlng=44.386751%2C-89.858857&find_loc=Wisconsin%20Rapids%2C%20WI&find_text=CBD%20Oil&find_type=Category&page=1 
  35. DATCP. Industrial Hemp Products and Human Food Ingredients. Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/IndustrialHempProductsHumanFoodIngredients.pdf 
  36. Wisconsin Legislature. Senate Bill 10. 2017 Wisconsin Act 4. Op cit. 
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