2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
March 15, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Considine, Pope, C. Taylor,
Kolste, Spreitzer, Milroy, Sargent, Crowley, Subeck, Berceau, Sinicki,
Hesselbein, Brostoff, Bowen, Ohnstad, Zamarripa, Barca and Quinn,
cosponsored by Senators L. Taylor, Erpenbach, Miller, Ringhand and C.
Larson. Referred to Committee on Agriculture.
1An Act to renumber and amend
961.55 (8); to amend
94.67 (2), 97.02 and 2
961.01 (14); and to create
20.115 (7) (gc), 94.55, 348.27 (18) (a) 1. e., 961.32 (3) 3
and 961.55 (8) (b) of the statutes;
relating to: industrial hemp, granting
4rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law places various restrictions on the possession, manufacture, and
delivery of controlled substances. One such controlled substance is
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including THC contained in or obtained from
marijuana. The controlled substances law defines marijuana as all parts of plants
of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, and most derivatives or preparations
of the plants (though it does not include, for instance, fiber produced from the stalks
or oil made from the seeds of the plants). THC is currently placed in the most
restricted category of controlled substances, which means it may not be prescribed
for medical use and may be manufactured and possessed only for particular purposes
(such as research) under special permits.
This bill requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection to issue licenses that authorize the growing and processing of industrial
hemp. Industrial hemp is defined as the plant Cannabis with a concentration of THC
of no more than 0.3 percent. The bill requires an applicant for a license to provide
a legal description and the GPS coordinates of the land on which industrial hemp will
be grown or processed and to pay a fee for the license. The bill provides that a person
may possess, transport, sell, distribute, or buy industrial hemp without a license if
the industrial hemp was planted, grown, cultivated, and processed by a person
licensed by DATCP. The bill requires reporting by a person with an industrial hemp
license who transfers the hemp to a licensed processor.
This bill also allows DATCP or an institution of higher education to establish
an agricultural pilot program to study industrial hemp and to grow hemp for this
purpose. In addition, the bill provides that a tribe may grow, possess, process,
transport, or sell industrial hemp, but that a tribal member must have a license to
grow or process industrial hemp, either from DATCP or from the member's tribe.
This bill allows DATCP, the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences (UW-CALS), and the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association to
administer a voluntary seed certification program for industrial hemp and allows
DATCP and UW-CALS to develop a Wisconsin heritage seed for industrial hemp.
Under the bill, any industrial hemp or industrial hemp product intended for
human consumption must be tested by an independent testing laboratory. The bill
sets out requirements related to the laboratory's accreditation, testing, and
This bill also creates an exemption from the controlled substances law for
growing or processing industrial hemp in conformity with a license issued by DATCP.
Additionally, the bill creates an exemption for possessing, transporting, delivering,
selling, distributing, and buying industrial hemp if the industrial hemp was planted,
grown, cultivated, and processed by a person licensed by DATCP. Under the bill,
industrial hemp is also removed from the current definition of “marijuana.”
Finally, this bill requires DATCP to promulgate rules for the administration of
the licensing law and for certifying and testing industrial hemp, industrial hemp
products, and industrial hemp seed.
This bill does not change federal law. Growing and possessing the plant Cannabis
is generally prohibited by federal law. The 2014 federal farm bill, 7 USC
, authorizes a state agriculture department or an institution of higher education
to grow industrial hemp for research purposes, if the state's laws allow the growing
of industrial hemp by a state agricultural agency or institute of higher education.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.115 (7) (gc) of the statutes is created to read:
(gc) Industrial hemp.
All moneys received under s. 94.55 for 3
regulation of industrial hemp under s. 94.55.
94.55 of the statutes is created to read:
194.55 Industrial hemp.
In this section, “industrial hemp" 2
means the plant Cannabis or any part of the plant Cannabis, whether growing or not, 3
that has a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent 4
on a dry weight basis.
(a) The department shall issue licenses that authorize the 6
planting, growing, cultivating, harvesting, and processing of industrial hemp for 7
commercial purposes or research.
(b) A person applying for a license under this subsection shall provide all of the 9
following to the department, in a form and manner prescribed by the department:
1. The name and address of the applicant.
2. If the applicant is a business entity, the name and address of the chief 12
executive officer or, in the case of a partnership or limited liability company, the 13
names and addresses of the partners or members.
3. The legal description of the land on which the industrial hemp will be 15
planted, grown, cultivated, or processed.
4. The global positioning system coordinates of the land on which the industrial 17
hemp will be planted, grown, cultivated, or processed.
5. Any other information required by the department by rule.
(c) A person applying for a license or a renewed license under this subsection 20
shall pay to the department a fee of $150 or, if the person will plant, grow, or cultivate 21
industrial hemp, the greater of $150 or $5 multiplied by the number of acres on which 22
the person will plant, grow, or cultivate industrial hemp, but not to exceed $1,000.
(d) A license issued under this subsection is valid for one year. A person 24
licensed under this subsection may apply for a renewal of the license in a form and 25
manner prescribed by the department.
1(3) Records retention.
(a) A person licensed under sub. (2) who grows or 2
cultivates industrial hemp and transfers the industrial hemp to a person licensed 3
under sub. (2) who processes industrial hemp shall maintain, for at least 3 years 4
following the transfer, records showing the following information:
1. The name and address of the processor that received the industrial hemp.
2. The amount of industrial hemp transferred.
3. Any test results received from an independent testing laboratory showing 8
the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of the industrial hemp.
(b) A person required to retain records under par. (a) shall, upon receiving at 10
least 3 days' notice, make the records available for inspection by the department 11
during normal business hours.
12(4) Authority of license holders to import and sell seed.
In addition to 13
planting, growing, cultivating, and processing industrial hemp for commercial 14
purposes or research and the other activities allowed under this section, a person 15
licensed under sub. (2) may do any of the following:
(a) Use any method to produce industrial hemp, including planting seeds or 17
starts and using clones or cuttings.
(b) Plant, grow, and cultivate industrial hemp from uncertified industrial hemp 19
seed, starts, clones, or cuttings.
(c) Bring into this state and resell certified or uncertified industrial hemp seed.
(d) Retain certified or uncertified industrial hemp seed for the purpose of 22
planting, growing, or cultivating industrial hemp at a later date.
(e) Retain hemp that has a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of 24
more than 0.3 percent but not more than 1.0 percent on a dry weight basis for the 25
purpose of reconditioning the hemp into industrial hemp.
1(5) Authority of the department and institutions of higher education
. (a) 2
The department or an institution of higher education may do any of the following, 3
in addition to the other activities allowed under this section:
1. Create and administer an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, 5
cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp.
2. Bring into this state and resell industrial hemp seed.
(b) The department or an institution of higher learning may plant, grow, or 8
cultivate industrial hemp only if the industrial hemp is planted, grown, or cultivated 9
for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program under par. 10
(a) or for other agricultural or academic research.
11(6) Tribal authority; special committee study
. (a) Notwithstanding sub. (2), 12
a tribe in this state may plant, grow, cultivate, process, possess, transport, sell, 13
distribute, or buy industrial hemp without a license or permit from any agency.
(b) A member of a tribe in this state may not plant, grow, cultivate, or process 15
industrial hemp without a license issued by the department under sub. (2) or a 16
license issued by the member's tribe.
(c) A tribe in this state may create and administer an agricultural pilot program 18
to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp and may work with 19
the department or an institution of higher education in creating and administering 20
(d) The special committee on state-tribal relations created under s. 13.83 (3) 22
may study economic development ventures related to industrial hemp, including 23
compacts and manufacturing opportunities.
24(7) Activities allowed without a license
. Notwithstanding any other 25
provision of law, a person may possess, transport, sell, distribute, or buy industrial
hemp or industrial hemp products if the industrial hemp was planted, grown, 2
cultivated, harvested, and processed by a person licensed under sub. (2). A person 3
who engages in the activities under this subsection shall not be subject to any civil 4
or criminal penalty under state law.