Wisconsin Gov. Evers Proposes Legalizing Marijuana, Investing Portion of Revenue in Equity Initiatives and Rural Schools

Governor’s proposal regulates and taxes marijuana much like alcohol, generates more than $165 million annually beginning in Fiscal Year 2023

WISCONSIN:  Gov. Tony Evers today announced his 2021-23 biennial budget proposes regulating and taxing marijuana much like Wisconsin regulates and taxes alcohol. Under the proposal, Wisconsin would join 15 other states, including neighboring Michigan and Illinois, in legalizing recreational marijuana. The governor’s 21-23 budget proposal will increase revenue, create jobs, and reduce criminal justice system costs, while providing a pathway for those suffering from chronic or debilitating pain and illness to utilize the medicine they require.

“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state,” said Gov. Evers. “Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”

In 2019, a Marquette University Law Poll found that nearly 60 percent of Wisconsinites support the legalization of marijuana and 83 percent of Wisconsinites support the legalization of medical marijuana. The governor’s 19-21 biennial budget proposed legalizing medical marijuana, which was ultimately rejected by Republicans in the Legislature.

Legalizing marijuana is expected to generate more than $165 million annually beginning in the second year of the biennium (Fiscal Year (FY) 23). The governor proposes setting aside $80 million of the revenue generated by marijuana to reinvest in communities across the state through a new Community Reinvestment Fund. Beginning in FY23, the Community Reinvestment Fund will fund $30 million in equity grants through the Department of Health Services, the Department of Administration, and the Department of Children and Families, respectively; $5 million to fund grants to underserved communities through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; and provide more than $34 million to support sparsity aid, which goes to small, rural school districts. The remaining revenue would be deposited into the state’s general fund.

Under the governor’s proposal, marijuana would be taxed and regulated much like alcohol, and would be regulated by both the Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The proposal would require the sale of marijuana for recreational use to be sold by a marijuana retailer holding a permit issued by the DOR. Individuals would need to be 21 years of age to purchase marijuana for recreational use. All sales of recreational marijuana to minors would be prohibited. The plan also provides a path for medical marijuana users to access the product without paying retail taxes.

There are certain limits placed on the sale and possession of marijuana under the proposal. Wisconsin residents can possess no more than two ounces of marijuana and six plants for personal use. Nonresidents can possess no more than 0.25 ounces of marijuana. Under the proposal, no marijuana processor or micro-business that operates as a marijuana processor may make usable marijuana using marijuana grown outside of Wisconsin.

Governor Evers Announces Proposal to Reform Wisconsin’s Marijuana Laws

WISCONSIN:  Governor Tony Evers today announced that his budget will include proposals to legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, establish an expungement procedure for individuals who have completed their sentence or probation for possession, and align Wisconsin’s laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, with federal standards.

The governor believes it is time for Wisconsin to join more than 30 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing medical marijuana. Last year, nearly one million voters in 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin voted to approve non-binding referenda asking if marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use. These referenda all passed by significant majorities.Under the governor’s proposal, a physician, or a practitioner under the direction of a physician, can recommend the use of medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms related to medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, severe nausea, and seizures.

The governor will also align Wisconsin’s laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, with federal standards. CBD oil is made from marijuana and can be used to treat seizures in children. Currently, Wisconsin law requires families to possess CBD oil only with yearly certification by a physician. The governor believes that families and individuals should be able to obtain this treatment without additional barriers.

“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge. People shouldn’t be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering,” Gov. Evers said. “Wisconsinites overwhelmingly agree that this is a critically important issue. But it’s not just about access to health care, it’s about connecting the dots between racial disparities and economic inequity.”

Reforming Wisconsin’s marijuana laws to align with the people’s support for medical marijuana is an important part of the governor’s plan. But so, too, is addressing the social and racial justice aspect of marijuana use. Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rate in the country for Black men, and drug-related crimes account for as many as 75-85 percent of all inmates in our prisons.

That is why the governor will also decriminalize possession, manufacturing or distribution of marijuana for amounts of 25 grams or less. This language would also prevent localities from establishing their own ordinances or penalties for possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana. The governor’s plan will also establish an expungement procedure for individuals convicted of possessing, manufacturing or distributing less than 25 grams of marijuana who have completed their sentence or probation.

“Too many people, often persons of color, spend time in our criminal justice system just for possessing small amounts of marijuana. That doesn’t make our communities stronger or safer,” Evers said. “This shouldn’t be a Republican issue or Democratic issue, and I look forward to working on both sides of the aisle to pass this proposal in my budget.”

 

Integrated Cannabis Solutions To Purchase 200-Acre Farm In Wisconsin

FLORIDA: Integrated Cannabis Solutions  has agreed to purchase the 200 acre farm the test grow is being planted on, after a successful harvest of the 20 acres. The purchase of the farm will give Integrated a solid real estate Asset on the books.

The parties have agreed on a purchase price of $1,500,000 for the property that includes 3 sections of tillable land totaling 160 acres. The back history on the farm has proven both hemp and tobacco have been successfully planted on this farm. The soil is so rich in nutrients the crops require very little water. The farm has its own brook and water rights with pumping stations.

The test harvest will generate more than enough money to cover the cost of the purchase of the farm and fund the future operations on the farm. The initial harvest should yield $6-$8 million fully funding the farms next harvest of 160 acres and building a first class CBD lab.

The property already has a 3,000 square foot storage barn with a cement slab and an additional slab next to the barn to build another building, that will house a CBD lab to turn the plants into CBD Isolate.

The main issue farmers in Wisconsin have about growing hemp is the lack of places to process the crops in Wisconsin, this is why in 2018 far fewer people actually planted crops than were granted licenses.

On the additional 40 acres of land greenhouses will be built to house the seedlings for each planting, if timed right 2 plantings per year could be done, further increasing the revenue of the farm.

With the Farm Bill looking to be signed into law, Integrated Cannabis is positioned to be a leader in Wisconsin by having the ability to both store and process industrial hemp into CBD Isolate.

Integrated Cannabis has been reviewing other opportunities within the Cannabis sector and will begin to give further updates shortly.

Integrated Cannabis Solutions, in compliance with SEC regulations, may in the future use social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter and its own website to announce key information in compliance with Reg FD.

Roys Releases Video Outlining Benefits to Legalizing Cannabis In Wisconsin

Roys’ video tells the story of a man, Heath Rush, who became addicted to opioids while experiencing back pain due to injury.

WISCONSIN: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys released a video highlighting the positive impacts that legalization of cannabis for medical and adult recreational use can have in Wisconsin.  Roys’ video tells the story of a man, Heath Rush, who became addicted to opioids while experiencing back pain due to injury. Heath states that he feels he, “could have gotten through 90% of the back-pain without a single opiate if I just had medical-grade marijuana.”

A transcript of the video has been provided at the end of this release.

Kelda Roys released the following statement:

“Adults should be free to use marijuana without fear of prosecution. We need to stop using our criminal justice resources to prosecute and incarcerate people for cannabis use. We can earn revenue, improve Wisconsin’s agricultural economy, and help stop unequal enforcement that drives racial disparities in our criminal justice system. It’s time to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, and grow Wisconsin’s economy.”

To read more on Kelda’s plans to legalize cannabis, click here.

“It’s Time to Legalize Marijuana” Transcript:

Heath: I was an opera singer for several years… There was this one time where I had to jump off stage, and it made me blow a disc in my back. I did not have health insurance at the time – I couldn’t really go to the doctor and have a surgery at the time, so I had to medicate it.

The doctors put me on Vicodin. I begged them for an MRI. Finally, when they did it (the MRI) it turned out I did need surgery on my back. I got to where I could not get the opiate out of my system. I could not go more than two, three hours without popping a couple pills.

I didn’t even have the urge to take the opiate once I started smoking. I feel I could have gotten through 90% of the back-pain prior to surgery without a single opiate if I just had medical-grade marijuana.

 

Walker To Sign Marijuana Extract Bill

By Associated Press

WISCONSIN: Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign into law a bill that would legalize possession of a marijuana extract used to treat seizures.  The governor plans to sign the bill Monday in Burlington.

Parents of children who suffer from seizures have pushed for access to cannabidiol oil for years.  The bill would make possession of the oil legal with a doctor’s certification.

The measure passed the Republican-controlled Legislature after a similar version stalled last session amid fears it would lead to full marijuana legalization.

The oil does not produce a high.

The States That Don’t Want To Legalize Marijuana

Public Service Announcement: 7 states are the party poopers of America. Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Idaho are the only states—of those where residents were polled—that don’t support legalizing marijuana.

The majority of people in 26 out of 38 states where people were asked about marijuana legalization since 2012 said they supported it, according to a report by The Washington Post. Other states were either divided in opinion or mostly opposed it. For a handful of states, no data was available.

While marijuana legislation mostly happens at the state level, Americans on a national level smoke pot a lot: Nearly 20 million of them said in 2013 that they had used marijuana at some point a month earlier, according to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That year, a poll found that 38 percent of Americans have tried marijuana while 7 percent said they were marijuana smokers, Gallup reported.

Police Chief: Legalize Marijuana, Use Tax Revenue To Fund Drug Treatment

WISCONSIN:  Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed the legalization of marijuana last week, saying the drug should be regulated and taxed, with revenues used to fund treatment programs for harder drugs.

The comments came during an interview with the State Journal Wednesday about data showing African-Americans in Madison were arrested or cited for marijuana offenses at about 12 times the rate of whites in the city.

Koval called efforts to enforce laws against marijuana an “abject failure,” and said the same about the broader war on drugs. “We’ve done such an abysmal job using marijuana as a centerpiece of drug enforcement, that it’s time to reorder and triage the necessities of what’s more important now,” Koval said.

Referring to the states of Washington and Colorado, which have legalized the drug for recreational use and sell it at state-regulated stores, he said it was time for Wisconsin to consider doing the same.

 

Growing Weed In America’s Industrial Cornfields

WISCONSIN:  On any given weekday in the summer, you will find me walking through fields counting bugs. In fact, it’s my job: I’m an ecologist studying the communities of insects that live in agricultural landscapes. Most days between early June and early September I drive between farms to scout crop pests and the beneficial insects that eat them, changing sticky yellow glue traps and sweeping vegetation with a canvas net.

But a single afternoon in August 2006 stands out in memory. Along one of the transects my colleague and I had set up in a cornfield, we noticed that several plants around one of our traps were missing. Strong winds or hail can knock down whole corn plants but what made this remarkable was what stood in their place: marijuana. Specifically, there were five plants, each standing about eight feet tall, in the middle of our survey plot and bursting with buds ready to harvest. While we were deciding how to proceed and what to tell the landowners, we received our next surprise; someone else was rustling through the field towards us.

When the person approaching saw us, our field gear, and our surprise, they quickly disappeared back into the dense sea of green stalks. While we never saw them (or their marijuana) again, it became clear that this was not an isolated incident. Almost every corn grower I spoke to that summer had a tale of discovering marijuana in their cornfields at harvest time. Which led me to ask: What is it about the nation’s largest crop that has made it so attractive to marijuana growers in recent years?

The answer: Growing marijuana has become possible and desirable, not to mention nearly untraceable, thanks to the very innovations that created industrial-scale, precision agriculture in the first place.

 

Should Marijuana Be Legalized In Wisconsin?

WISCONSIN:  Marijuana use, both medical and recreational, is becoming more acceptable in many places around the country. Colorado and Washington have legalized use of the drug and many municipalities have decriminalized it.

In Wisconsin, legislation was introduced to legalize recreational and medical marijuana use and other proposals have sought to reduce the penalties for marijuana possession. In April, Gov. Walker signed a bill legalizing cannibidiol, a marijuana extract, for use in treating children with some seizure syndromes. No other legislation related to marijuana has passed.

The penalty for marijuana possession in Wisconsin is harsh. After one conviction, a subsequent arrest is charged as a felony.

We asked state legislators two questions:

  1. Do you think marijuana should be legalized?
  2. Do you think the criminal penalties for marijuana possession should be changed? Why or why not?

 

Walker signs marijuana oil into law to help kids with seizures

WISCONSIN: Some parents welcome a new law that legalizes a drug derived from marijuana.

It’s designed just for children who suffer from seizures. Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that allows children to take CBD oil, which is a byproduct of marijuana. He stresses this isn’t the same as legalizing pot.

“It’s very controlled, from the examining board and oversight by pharmacists and physicians and I think that’s important moving forward,” Walker said. “This is not in any way what we see with other laws across the country.”

The oil could be available as early as the fall, and Monona mom Amylynne Santiago Volker plans to give it to her son. She contacted her lawmaker to draft the bill last fall because her son Nic has more than 100 seizures a day.