The Wisconsin Farm Bureau said a meeting is in the works with Attorney General Brad Schimel to discuss the industrial hemp law. This comes after farmers across the state raised concerns when Schimel sent out a memo stating they cannot grow hemp to manufacture it for CBD oil use.
In an interview aired on WisconsinEye, Schimel said he’s open to the idea for lawmakers to return to make a correction in the law.
“The legislature did not authorize the manufacturing of CBD oil in Wisconsin,” said Schimel. “They authorize you to grow industrial hemp if you get the DATCP license and there are other problems with the DEA involved because they have a say in this as well."
However, officials from the Farm Bureau are convinced there's no solution needed from the Legislature. Rob Richard, Senior Director of Government Relations of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, said the argument is simple since federal and state statute does not define what “processing” means.
“We define what production is and in production under federal code and state code not just means manufacturing it. It means the growing, cultivating and harvesting of a controlled substance," said Richard.
Richard said this is leading to the AG’s misconceptions and interpretations on how you define it.
"Until the Attorney General recognizes the federal Farm Bill, I tend to believe it's a illegal to grow hemp in the state,” said Richard. “That's what authorizes all the state pilot programs. I don't know any other way to grow hemp legally unless you do it under the federal Farm Bill."
Schimel also said he wants restrictions on CBD oil if state lawmakers return to make changes to the law. He also doesn't believe farmers need to wait to grow, they can still grow for uses like clothing and rope.
"Farmers should go through this process and work with DATCP to get the necessary approvals and if there's a market for the product, when it's grown and go to market."
Some retailers already selling CBD oil say they'll continue operating as normal. Others are concerned if a solution is not met, lawsuits against the attorney general will be the next step.