January 06, 2021 6 min read

A map showing Wisconsin and surrounding states

CBD has been rising in popularity across the country since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp across the country, but residents of some states are running into surprising legality issues. The bill legalized hemp and its derivatives (like CBD) but also granted every state the right to create their own laws surrounding CBD.

Some states (like Hawaii) have prohibited certain forms of CBD entirely, while others have a virtual CBD free-for-all that lacks serious regulation.

Thanks to this confusion, residents of the Badger State may be wondering “Is CBD legal in Wisconsin?”

Luckily, it is, but Wisconsin CBD laws are still a little blurry.

Here’s what you need to know:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Wisconsin?
Does Wisconsin have a CBD possession limit?
Can doctors prescribe CBD in Wisconsin?
Where to buy CBD in Wisconsin?
Can you buy CBD at 18 in Wisconsin?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
Resources

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest CBD laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.

Key Takeaways

Wisconsin legalized CBD for restricted medical use first, and then legalized general access to hemp-derived CBD products. The state is still working to update hemp agriculture regulations in the state.

CBD is legal in Wisconsin, but it isn’t very well regulated yet. There are very few testing or quality assurance requirements for products made in the state.

The state also has no minimum age requirements or possession limits for CBD, but it may not be easy to access CBD in stores for consumers who are under 21.

Doctors in Wisconsin may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.

CBD may be accessible in some stores in Wisconsin, but you may have access to a better selection if you order online. Certain practices, like properly vetting your CBD brand, may reduce the risks of buying low-quality formulas.

Legal Concerns About CBD

It’s true that CBD gained its federal legal status in 2018. The Hemp Farming Act effectively removed industrial hemp and its natural derivatives (like cannabinoids) from the Controlled Substances Act.

But there’s a catch, and it complicates things:

Legal CBD products must come from industrial hemp.

This classification is designated to hemp material that meets a strict set of standards. The most significant is that it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If CBD products are made from any cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC, it is not a federally legal product.

That’s not all—

The final product must contain less than 0.3% THC, too.

That means that even if a brand starts with legal hemp material, they need to carry out careful manufacturing procedures to produce a legal end product. It’s possible for certain cannabinoids to be “concentrated” during the extraction process, leading to higher THC concentrations than in the original material. Proper manufacturing and careful testing need to be employed to avoid this issue.

Because there is very little regulation in the CBD industry, it’s important to evaluate a brand carefully before you buy. It can be hard to tell if a CBD product is made from a legal hemp source and meets the federal guidelines for legal hemp products. The best way to ensure that your CBD products are legal is by checking the third-party lab tests for cannabinoid potency.

Of course, these regulations only apply on a federal scale. You must also ensure that your products meet the standards laid out by federal guidelines and those set by your state.

Two varieties of oral CBD oil, which are legal and accessible in Wisconsin.

What are the CBD laws in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin was one of the state’s to recognize CBD’s medicinal benefits early. In response to the 2014 Farm Bill, Wisconsin passed Wisconsin Act 267, informally known as Lydia’s Law, a bill that legalized CBD on a restricted basis for qualifying epilepsy patients in the state. Similarly restrictive laws were passed in other states at the time (see Alabama and Kentucky) as the “first steps” to CBD legalization.

The law remained restrictive until 2017, when Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed SB 10 into law. This bill legalized CBD possession in the state for patients with a written recommendation from a doctor.

Although this bill did extend access to many residents, it failed to outline a hemp agriculture plan or make CBD easily accessible within the state. However, SB 10 included text that required the state to follow suit with federal law, if it were updated in the future. When the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into federal law, Wisconsin began updating state laws.

The state passed Assembly Bill 49 to further loosen state regulations on CBD, but this new law did not fully clarify CBD’s legal stance. Finally, SB 188, published in late 2019, altered the state’s definition of hemp to match the new federal definition. Now, hemp and hemp-derived CBD is legal and accessible in Wisconsin.

SB 188 was partnered by Assembly Bill 206, a bill that aimed to iron out hemp agriculture laws in the state. The bill is currently tabled, and Wisconsin is still working out the details on their future hemp program while operating under the pretenses of the 2014 Pilot Program.

For now, CBD is legal to buy and possess, and the state has not restricted any specific types of CBD products. Until the state irons out a hemp plan with the USDA, CBD products may not be easy to find in the state. Instead, residents of Wisconsin may outsource to other states where CBD is legal to order online.

Does Wisconsin have a CBD possession limit?

Wisconsin has no defined possession limits on legal CBD products. CBD products that contain over 0.3% THC may be classified as cannabis products, which are illegal and subject to penalty.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, you do not need a prescription to access CBD products. In fact, doctors typically cannot “prescribe” CBD products that are sold over the counter, rather they may “recommend” them. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, access usually requires a doctor’s recommendation, not a prescription.

CBD is still new, and only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to date. This product, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is designed to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Aside from this product (which comes with stringent usage guidelines), many doctors are still learning about CBD. If you’re interested in the benefits of CBD, you may need to spark a conversation with your doctor.

Where to buy CBD in Wisconsin?

A dropper filled with CBD oil, one of the most popular forms of CBD found in Wisconsin.

CBD may be accessible all over Wisconsin, but it’s unclear if the products are legal. Either way, the products are legal to possess within the state, so if they are purchased from a source that meets all state guidelines, they are legal CBD products. That means you may find CBD in grocery stores and convenience stores.

Keep in mind that Wisconsin does very little to regulate quality and is still working out the regulations for CBD manufacturers and growers within the state. The lack of regulations within the industry can be risky for consumers.

Buying CBD online is a suitable option for most consumers. When you buy CBD online directly from the brand, you get better oversight of the brand’s manufacturing practices. Looking at the brand’s hemp source and lab testing procedures can help ensure that the CBD products you choose are clean, potent, and meet legal guidelines.

Buying CBD directly from a brand instead of from a third-party market may also be less costly since you won’t have to pay the extra fees that are often tacked on by the middle man. Of course, premium CBD can be expensive to manufacture, so you should also be wary of products that offer low-ball prices.

Finally, buying CBD online may be the best way to access many different types of CBD. The most common type of CBD product is an oil tincture, but you can find a variety of CBD edibles, topicals, and other specialty products when you shop online.

For more information on how to find high-quality CBD products, check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide.

Can you buy CBD at 18 in Wisconsin?

The legal age to buy CBD is unclear on state and federal levels. In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it gained its popularity as a treatment for various childhood illnesses. Of course, some products may not be suitable for people of all ages, like smokable hemp flower or CBD vaporizers.

In Wisconsin, there are no statewide regulations regarding the legal age to buy CBD. Instead, these laws may vary by jurisdiction and are more heavily impacted by the seller. The state requires consumers purchasing legal cannabis products to be at least 21 years old, but it’s unclear if CBD falls under these same age restrictions.

Many CBD brands allow customers who are 18 or older to order online and will ship legal CBD products to Wisconsin.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to federal updates, CBD has the potential to be legal in every U.S. state. CBD is legal in Wisconsin, but every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Wisconsin Act 267” https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/acts/267
  3. “SB 10” https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/votes/senate/sv0012
  4. “Assembly Bill 49” https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/proposals/ab49
  5. “SB 188” https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/reg/sen/bill/sb188
  6. “Assembly Bill 206” https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/reg/asm/bill/ab206

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