Updated on May 19, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Did you know that some states without medical marijuana laws allow a component of cannabis? Wisconsin and other states allow patients to use cannabidiol (CBD), which provides many health benefits without a high. These states, Wisconsin included, permit it in select circumstances only.
Under Assembly Bill 726, patients with seizure disorders can use CBD medicine. They need to get a recommendation from their doctor to prove their eligibility. Otherwise, patients don’t have to sign up for anything else. Unfortunately, AB 726 works better in theory than in practice.
AB 726 only permits CBD recommendations under strict conditions. The doctor must get an investigational drug permit subject to approval by the FDA. However, the FDA has numerous hurdles against marijuana research in place. Plus, the medicine can’t have any THC in it, which is nearly impossible.
At this point, we would normally tell you that you could get retail CBD from a wellness store instead. But, Wisconsin also regulates these items. Until the state’s industrial hemp program has decent production numbers, you don’t have access to medicine that meets these regulations. Once the industry has enough products, people may get the opportunity to buy certain CBD formulations.
Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, Wisconsin law allows states to set up industrial hemp pilot projects where farmers can legally grow hemp. Under the law, industrial hemp must have a THC level of .3 percent or lower. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.
As we mentioned earlier, patients with “seizure disorders” can request recommendations. But, what does that term mean under the law? Everyone has a different image in their heads when they hear that term. That’s why the law creates official definitions. AB 726 does not define “seizure disorder,” leaving the law up to interpretation. If the program changes to make recommendations feasible, patients could be put in danger of prosecution.
Assuming laws change to make a more practical program, becoming eligible would pose few problems to qualifying patients. Doctors do not have to establish relationships with patients. The patient doesn’t have to join a registry. Out-of-state patients can show their medical marijuana cards to use THC-free CBD medicine. With a few adjustments, patients could have sensible access to relief.
The current state of Wisconsin CBD laws does not offer patients much. However, we can see so much promise in things to come. With the upcoming industrial hemp industry comes regulations for retail CBD medicine. Wisconsin officials don’t seem to mind the idea of people buying it — instead, they worry about bad formulas affecting patient health.
Future CBD regulations could help patients all over the state get help. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to know about any changes.