The Wisconsin Department of Justice is advising law enforcement agencies and the public that a medicinal oil derived from marijuana and hemp is still illegal, despite laws passed in recent years legalizing its use in limited circumstances.
The announcement caught many farmers participating in a new state-authorized hemp growing program off-guard and could cost them millions of dollars in investment, said Rob Richard, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.
“What they’re telling us is CBD oil under the hemp program is illegal, which is nonsense,” Richard said. “This is just another kick in the gut to farmers and with the timing it’s unacceptable to farming.”
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is one of the byproducts of the marijuana plant, which also contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a Schedule I narcotic under federal law. Possessing or distributing CBD oil containing any levels of THC is illegal in Wisconsin, according to DOJ.
CBD oil can also be produced from hemp, which comes from the same family as the marijuana plant, but without the same psychoactive effects.
Some have advocated for the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil containing little or no THC, particularly in children or adults who suffer from debilitating seizures. [Read more at Wisconsin State Journal]