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Wisconsin’s Medical Marijuana Plan Unveiled

After many months of work, Representative Jon Plumer and colleagues say they have come up with a “unique plan” for medical marijuana in Wisconsin. It certainly won’t be a free-for-all.

Wisconsin is currently a medical cannabis holdout state – one of a minority as thirty-eight states have legalized the medical form and dozens have also legalized recreational marijuana. Many Wisconsin patients choose to cross state lines into Illinois to access medicines. It’s big business, with estimates of “tens of millions” of dollars going from Wisconsin to Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota each year.

But Wisconsin too could soon join the ranks, albeit with a very restrictive medical initiative.

The GOP proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin was revealed on Monday by Representative Plumer at a news conference. For starters, there will only be eight eligible conditions from the get-go:

  • cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • glaucoma
  • multiple sclerosis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • severe muscle spasms
  • chronic pain or nausea
  • a terminal illness and less than a year to live.

Under the plan, a doctor will certify a patient who can then apply for a permit to purchase medicines from a state-run facility.

“This is where our program is different,” said Rep Plumer. “This will be a state-run program. There will be five dispensaries around Wisconsin, at least to start.”

While dispensaries will be state-run and pharmacists state employees, growers will be independent but licensed by the state.

As for the types of medicines available; these will include edibles, concentrates, oils, tinctures, pills, gels, creams, vapes, patches, liquids, and nebulizer forms. Off the table are smokeable forms.

It’s understood that Democratic Governor Tony Evers isn’t particularly thrilled with the GOP plan as it doesn’t go far enough, but is likely to support it to at least get something happening in his state on this front. Governor Evers is keen to see recreational marijuana legalised but Republicans have warned they are certainly not on board with this and previous efforts have failed.

The Republican Party currently controls both chambers of state legislature – the lower Wisconsin State Assembly and the upper Wisconsin State Senate.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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