Wisconsin Marijuana Laws
Updated September 2019
Wisconsin has some of the harshest penalties related to marijuana possession, sale, and cultivation. All levels of cultivation and sale are considered felonies, as are repeat possession offenses, with incarceration terms increasing based on quantity grown or sold. Wisconsin did pass a restrictive medical cannabis law in 2014. Learn more about Wisconsin marijuana laws below.
Recreational Marijuana in Wisconsin
Is marijuana legal in Wisconsin? No. The first offense of possession of any amount of marijuana in Wisconsin is a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. Subsequent possession offenses, however, are felonies punishable by 3.5 years incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Nine of the state’s 10 largest cities have imposed ordinances decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses. In these cities – Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Marshfield, Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesa, and Wausau – simple possession is a civil ordinance that calls for a fine rather than a criminal offense.
Medical Marijuana in Wisconsin
There is currently no policy regarding medical marijuana in Wisconsin. The Legislature did pass Assembly Bill 726 (Lydia’s Law) in 2014 to legalize cannabis oil containing low levels of THC for children diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and then passed Senate Bill 10 in 2017 to expand the law to include any “medical condition.”
The laws are only symbolic, however, as there’s no legal way for patients to obtain the cannabis oil. The law requires that patients first obtain a prescription for the cannabis oil from a doctor, but physicians are not allowed to do so because the FDA has not approved cannabis. Additionally, the state hasn’t legalized growing cannabis and Federal law prevents transporting cannabis across state lines.
In 2016, Rep. Melissa Sargent introduced legislation that would have created a medical marijuana program for seriously ill patients, but it failed to pass through the committee process.
Consumption of CBD Hemp Oil in Wisconsin
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Wisconsin
The cultivation of any amount of marijuana for personal or medicinal use in Wisconsin is a felony.
Licensed farmers can legally grow hemp under a state-sponsored pilot program. In 2017, Wisconsin lawmakers approved Senate Bill 119 to establish the pilot program, which aims to study the growth and marketability of hemp.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
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LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is Weed Legal in Wisconsin?
Cannabis is illegal under Wisconsin marijuana laws except for the limited use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for medicinal purposes. The 2018 election proved to be a big moment for cannabis’s popularity in Wisconsin. Voters in more than a dozen counties and two cities expressed their support for cannabis in several non-binding advisory questions, including whether it should be legalized for medicinal purposes and whether it should be regulated and taxed like alcohol.
In Milwaukee and Dane counties, voters favored legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis by more than 60%.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Wisconsin?
Voters in other parts of Wisconsin tackled only medical marijuana, all of them leaning in favor of changing the law to allow its medical use. In the city of Waukesha, 77% of voters supported marijuana for medicinal purposes and its regulation as a prescription drug.
While these referenda are non-binding, they set the stage for a discussion about legalization in a state that has failed several times to pass laws allowing cannabis use for recreational or medicinal purposes. Wisconsin marijuana legalization may be on the horizon as a bill was introduced in 2019 to create a licensing system for growers. The bill also proposes to make Wisconsin medical marijuana available to patients who are registered with the state.
The Controlled Substances Board under Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) regulates who can dispense CBD oil.
Where is it safe to purchase and consume?
For patients, a Controlled Substances Board-approved pharmacy or doctor may recommend CBD oil to treat a medical condition.
The law expands a patient’s usage beyond seizure disorders, stating that individuals with a medical condition can possess and consume CBD oil. The law, however, is vague on what medical conditions qualify. Patients may obtain certification from a doctor stating that they possess CBD oil for treatment and that the CBD oil has no intoxicating effect.
Medical Marijuana Registry
SB 10, signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2017, allows patients to be treated with CBD oil for a medical condition. However, the law doesn’t specify what qualifies as a medical condition. Patients need a doctor’s certification that states why the oil is needed and permission to use it for treatment.
Patients need a physician-issued certification to possess and use CBD oil for a medical condition.
View the cannabis & CBD laws & regulations for Wisconsin.