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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Wisconsin Co. makes maximum penalty $1 for cannabis possession
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Rock County Board in Madison, Wisconsin, passed an ordinance change Thursday night to set the penalty for possessing 28 grams or less of cannabis to no more than a $1 fine.
While Rock Co. does not have the authority to legalize marijuana, Rock Co. Supervisor Jacob Taylor said they can minimize their participation in the enforcement of a law voters “so strongly oppose.” The county also reduced the penalty for possession of cannabis paraphernalia for the same $1 fine.
The change will only affect enforcement from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, but the penalty is unchanged for local police departments.
Taylor proposed the change in 2018 as a response to the Marijuana Advisory Referendum where voters were “overwhelmingly” supportive of the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.The Rock County Board in Madison, Wisconsin, passed an ordinance change Thursday night to set the penalty for possessing 28 grams or less of cannabis to no more than a $1 fine. ]]>