1An Act to renumber and amend
961.55 (8); to amend
94.67 (2) and 97.02; and 2to create
20.115 (7) (gc), 94.55, 348.27 (18) (a) 1. e., 961.32 (3), 961.55 (8) (b) and 3
961.55 (9) of the statutes; relating to: growing and processing industrial hemp,
4granting rule-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
restrictive 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 sativa with no more than
0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. The bill requires an applicant for a license
to provide the GPS coordinates of the land on which industrial hemp will be grown
or processed and to pay a fee for the license. It also requires DATCP to obtain a
criminal history search from the state Department of Justice for each applicant and
prohibits DATCP from issuing a license to a person if the criminal history search
shows the person has been convicted of violating the controlled substances law. 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 or by a person in another state or country
who planted, grew, cultivated, or processed the industrial hemp in accordance with
the laws of that state or country. The bill requires reporting by a person with an
industrial hemp license, including reporting all sales of industrial hemp.
This bill also provides that DATCP or an institution of higher education may
establish an agricultural pilot program to study industrial hemp and to grow hemp
for this purpose. In addition, the bill requires a tribe or an individual tribal member
to have a license from DATCP to grow or process industrial hemp. The bill also
provides that a tribe may establish, with the assistance of DATCP or an institution
of higher education other than a tribal college or university, an agricultural pilot
program to study industrial hemp. The bill also allows the committee on state-tribal
relations to study economic development ventures related to industrial hemp.
This bill requires 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. In addition, the bill requires any industrial hemp or industrial
hemp product intended for human consumption to be tested, in its final
consumer-ready state, by an independent testing laboratory. The bill sets out
requirements related to the laboratory's accreditation, testing, and reporting.
This bill also creates an exemption from the controlled substances law for
growing, processing, or possessing industrial hemp in conformity with a license
issued by DATCP. Under the bill, if a plant being grown for industrial hemp tests
at a higher concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol than 1.0 percent, the entire crop
is to be seized and destroyed. The bill also provides that a licensed grower of
industrial hemp is not subject to criminal penalties if a crop is found to have a
tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of 1.5 percent or less or if the grower planted
certified seed. 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 or by a person in another state or country in accordance with the laws of
that state or country.
Finally, the bill requires DATCP to promulgate rules for the administration of
the licensing law, as well as for certifying industrial hemp and for developing
programs for researching industrial hemp genetics.
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 growing and processing industrial hemp under s. 94.55.
94.55 of the statutes is created to read:
594.55 Industrial hemp. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) “Human consumption” means ingestion by a person or topical application 7
to the skin or hair of a person.
(b) “Industrial hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa, or any part of the plant, 9
having a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3 percent 10
on a dry weight basis.
(a) The department shall issue licenses that authorize the 12
planting, growing, cultivating, harvesting, and processing of industrial hemp for 13
commercial purposes or research.
(b) A person applying for a license under this subsection shall provide all of the 15
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 18
executive officer or, in the case of a partnership or limited liability company, the 19
names and addresses of the partners or members.
3. The global positioning system coordinates of the centers of all fields on which 2
the industrial hemp will be planted, grown, or cultivated, or of the location where the 3
industrial hemp will be processed.
(c) A person applying for a license under this subsection shall pay to the 5
department a fee equal to $150 or, if the person will plant, grow, or cultivate 6
industrial hemp, the greater of $150 or $5 multiplied by the number of acres on which 7
the person will plant, grow, or cultivate industrial hemp, but not to exceed $1,000.
(d) 1. The department shall obtain a criminal history search from the records 9
maintained by the department of justice for each person applying for initial licensure 10
under this subsection.
2. The department may not issue a license if the person has ever been convicted 12
of a violation of ch. 961 as indicated in the information obtained under subd. 1.
3. Information obtained by the department under subd. 1. is confidential and 14
may be used only to determine eligibility for licensure.
(e) A license issued under this subsection is valid for 3 years.
16(3) Documentation and reporting requirements.
(a) A person licensed under 17
sub. (2) who plants, grows, or cultivates industrial hemp shall provide to the 18
department a copy of any contract under which the licensee plants, grows, or 19
cultivates industrial hemp.
(b) A person licensed under sub. (2) shall report to the department the name 21
and address of each person to whom the licensee sells, distributes, or transfers 22
industrial hemp, the amount of industrial hemp sold, distributed, or transferred to 23
each person, and, if the licensee plants, grows, or cultivates industrial hemp, the 24
approximate global positioning system coordinates of the centers of all fields on 25
which the industrial hemp will be grown and any test results received from an
independent testing laboratory showing the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol 2
concentration of the industrial hemp.
(c) A person required to provide information under par. (a) or (b) shall, upon 4
receiving at least 3 days' notice, make the records showing that information available 5
for inspection by the department during normal business hours.
6(4) Authority to import and sell seed, retain seed, and import industrial
A person licensed under sub. (2) may bring into this state and resell industrial 8
hemp seed, may retain industrial hemp seed from one crop year to be planted in the 9
following years, may bring industrial hemp and industrial hemp products into this 10
state, and may retain hemp and hemp products that have a 11
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration on a dry weight basis of more than 0.3 12
percent but not more than 1.0 percent for the purpose of reconditioning the hemp into 13
industrial hemp or industrial hemp products.
14(5) Authority of the department and institutions of higher education
Notwithstanding sub. (2), the department or an institution of higher education may 16
create and administer an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, 17
or marketing of industrial hemp, and may plant, grow, or cultivate industrial hemp 18
without a license or permit, for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural 19
pilot program or for other agricultural or academic research.
20(6) Tribal authority; special committee study
. (a) A tribe in this state or a 21
member of a tribe in this state may not plant, grow, cultivate, or process industrial 22
hemp without a license issued by the department under sub. (2).
(b) A tribe in this state may create and administer an agricultural pilot 24
program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp and shall
work with the department or an institution of higher education, not including tribal 2
colleges or universities in this state, in creating and administering the program.
(c) The special committee on state-tribal relations created under s. 13.83 (3) 4
may study economic development ventures related to industrial hemp, including 5
compacts and manufacturing opportunities.
6(7) Activities allowed without a license
. Notwithstanding any other 7
provision of law, a person may possess, transport, sell, distribute, or buy industrial 8
hemp or industrial hemp products if the industrial hemp was planted, grown, 9
cultivated, harvested, and processed by a person licensed under sub. (2) or by a 10
person in another state or country in accordance with the laws of that state or 11
country. A person who engages in the activities under this subsection shall not be 12
subject to any civil or criminal penalty under state law.
13(8) Seed certification; Wisconsin heritage seed
. (a) The Wisconsin Crop 14
Improvement Association, or any successor organization, in cooperation with the 15
University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the 16
department, shall establish and administer a certification program for industrial 17
hemp seed in this state. Participation in the certification program shall be voluntary 18
for growers and cultivators of industrial hemp.
(b) The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life 20
Sciences and the department may develop a Wisconsin heritage seed for industrial 21
hemp. In developing a Wisconsin heritage seed, the college and the department may 22
do any of the following:
1. Breed, plant, grow, cultivate, and harvest the plant Cannabis.
2. Use Cannabis seeds from plants that have a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol 25
concentration of not more than 1.0 percent.
3. Collect seeds from wild Cannabis plants.
2(9) Testing of industrial hemp intended for consumption
. (a) All industrial 3
hemp and each industrial hemp product intended for human consumption shall be 4
tested, in its final consumer-ready state, by an independent testing laboratory to 5
confirm that it is nonpsychoactive and contains safe levels of potential contaminants. 6
An independent testing laboratory shall have all of the following:
1. Accreditation by an impartial organization that provides accreditation 8
pursuant to the standard ISO/IEC 17025 of the International Organization for 9
Standardization and that is a signatory to the International Laboratory 10
Accreditation Corporation Mutual Recognition Arrangement, or other comparable 11
accreditation standard required by the department.
2. A demonstrated ability to accurately measure individual cannabinoids in 13
both their acidic and neutral forms down to 0.05 percent by weight, including 14
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, cannabidiol, 15
and cannabidiolic acid.
(b) For the purpose of testing under this subsection, an independent testing 17
laboratory may possess industrial hemp and industrial hemp products grown, 18
cultivated, harvested, or processed by a person licensed under sub. (2) or by a person 19
in another state or country in accordance with the laws of that state or country. Any 20
testing performed by a laboratory under this subsection shall comply with the 21
methodologies, ranges, and parameters for testing described in the laboratory's 22
(c) The department may create a registration program to register persons to 24
sample an industrial hemp crop and transport the industrial hemp sample to an 25
independent testing laboratory. A person registered under this paragraph shall be
trained by the department in sampling and chain of custody protocols. The 2
department may charge a reasonable fee for registration and training.
(d) An independent testing laboratory that tests for an industrial hemp crop's 4
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration shall provide the test results to the 5
department in a form and manner prescribed by the department. An independent 6
testing laboratory shall provide to the department, at the department's request, test 7
results from testing on any industrial hemp or industrial hemp product intended for 8
The department shall promulgate rules for the administration of 10
this section including rules concerning all of the following:
(a) Administering a program for certifying industrial hemp seed.
(b) Sampling and testing plants during growth for 13
(c) Developing programs for researching industrial hemp genetics.
(d) Supervising the growing, harvesting, and processing of industrial hemp.
(e) Safe levels of potential contaminants in industrial hemp and industrial 17
hemp products intended for human consumption, including pesticides, heavy 18
metals, residual solvents, and microbiological contaminants, for purposes of sub. (9).
(f) Sampling and testing industrial hemp and industrial hemp products in their 20
final consumer-ready state, including determining batch sizes and nonpsychoactive 21
levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, for purposes of sub. (9).
22(11) Agricultural product or commodity
. Industrial hemp and industrial 23
hemp products shall be considered agricultural products or commodities under all 24
applicable provisions of the statutes.
94.67 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
“Agricultural commodity" means any plant or part of a plant, animal 2
or animal product produced by a person primarily for sale, consumption, propagation 3
or other use by humans or animals. “Agricultural commodity” includes industrial
4hemp, as defined in s. 94.55 (1).
97.02 of the statutes is amended to read:
697.02 Standards; adulterated food.
For the purposes of this chapter, a food 7
is adulterated if it is adulterated within the meaning of 21 USC 342
, except that the
8department may not consider a food to be adulterated solely because it contains
9industrial hemp, as defined in s. 94.55 (1), or an industrial hemp product
348.27 (18) (a) 1. e. of the statutes is created to read:
(a) 1. e. Industrial hemp, as defined in s. 94.55 (1).
961.32 (3) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this subsection, “industrial hemp" has the meaning given in 14
s. 94.55 (1).
(b) A person licensed by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer 16
protection under s. 94.55 (2), and an agent or employee of the person acting in the 17
usual course of the agent's or employee's business or employment, may plant, grow, 18
cultivate, harvest, process, possess, transport, sell, deliver, distribute, or buy 19
industrial hemp in this state to the extent authorized by the person's license and in 20
conformity with s. 94.55 and the rules promulgated under that section. A person 21
licensed under s. 94.55 (2), and an agent or employee of the person acting in the usual 22
course of the agent's or employee's business or employment, who plants, grows, or 23
cultivates industrial hemp, may not be prosecuted for a criminal offense if the 24
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of the crop grown or cultivated is 1.5 25
percent or less on a dry weight basis, or if the person planted seed that has been
certified as having a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 2
0.3 percent. A person may not be prosecuted for a criminal offense for possessing, 3
transporting, selling, delivering, distributing, or buying industrial hemp in this 4
state if the industrial hemp was planted, grown, cultivated, harvested, and 5
processed by a person licensed under s. 94.55 (2) or by a person in another state or 6
country in accordance with the laws of that state or country.
961.55 (8) of the statutes is renumbered 961.55 (8) (intro.) and 8
amended to read:
(intro.) The failure, upon demand by any officer or employee 10
designated in s. 961.51 (1) or (2), of the person in occupancy or in control of land or 11
premises upon which the species of plants are growing or being stored, to produce an 12one of the following constitutes authority for the seizure and forfeiture of the plants
13described in sub. (7):
appropriate federal registration, or proof that the person is the holder 15
thereof, constitutes authority for the seizure and forfeiture of the plants
961.55 (8) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) Evidence of licensure under s. 94.55 (2).
961.55 (9) of the statutes is created to read:
If a crop intended to be industrial hemp, as defined in s. 94.55 (1), 20
is tested for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol levels and the average concentration of 21
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a whole dry plant is found to exceed 1.0 percent, 22
the entire crop on the field where the plant was found shall be seized and destroyed. 23
Before a crop is seized and destroyed under this subsection, the agency whose officers 24
or employees intend to seize and destroy the crop shall provide, to the person licensed 25
under s. 94.55 (2) to grow the crop or to the person's agent or employee, written
documentation verifying the test results for the crop that is subject to seizure and 2
(1) Legislative findings
. The legislature finds all of the following:
(a) That the Cannabis sativa plant used for the production of industrial hemp 6
is separate and distinct from forms of Cannabis used to produce marijuana.
(b) That section 7606 of the federal farm bill of 2014, 7 USC 5940
, allows states 8
to establish agricultural pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation, or 9
marketing of industrial hemp.
(c) That industrial hemp is used in products such as building materials, 11
textiles, cordage, fiber, food, floor coverings, fuel, paint, animal feed, paper, particle 12
board, plastics, seed meal, cosmetics, seed, oil, and yarn.
(d) That cannabidiol and hemp seed oil have the ability to provide relief for 14
more maladies than medical marijuana, without psychotropic effect.
(e) That the growth, cultivation, and processing of industrial hemp will provide 16
an alternate crop to vitalize the agricultural sector in this state and will provide 17
production and processing jobs.