You may know Wisconsin as one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, or if you’re like us, you know them from the fictional town of Point Place, where Eric, Donna, Jackie, Kelso, Hyde, and Fez spent their afternoons in the Formans’ basement—a group that would certainly enjoy the contents of this article. Now, however, in a way that would make the aforementioned gang proud, the Badger State is gaining recognition for a lot more than that.
Ever since the federal government legalized hemp—including compounds like delta 9— many other states have followed suit. At the same time, however, other states have made their own efforts to ban or heavily restrict compounds derived from the plant. But where does America’s Dairyland stand? Is delta 9 legal in Wisconsin?
Is Delta 9 Legal in Wisconsin?
Before getting into the legality of delta 9 in Wisconsin, let’s first dissect the contents of the Farm Bill, which made legal hemp and hemp products a possibility across the nation back in 2018. Also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act, the Farm Bill created a legal difference between marijuana and hemp. Cannabis plants containing no more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis are considered hemp, while marijuana refers to any cannabis plant exceeding those limitations.
Although the Farm Bill did wonders for the hemp market, it left marijuana’s illegal status as a schedule I controlled substance unchanged. That said, the Biden administration recently released a statement indicating that it wishes to revisit the federal government’s stance on marijuana, including the intention to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession and urging states to do the same, as well as reevaluating the plant’s status as a schedule I substance. For now, however, only hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta 9 are federally legal in the nation.
Even with the federal government embracing hemp and hemp-derived products, some states have made their own efforts to ban or restrict hemp-derived cannabinoids. So, let’s get back to America’s Dairyland. Is delta 9 legal in Wisconsin?
Under section 94.55 of Wisconsin’s Statutes & Annotations, you can legally purchase hemp products containing delta 9 THC as low as the concentration doesn’t exceed 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. The state defines hemp as “any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers of hemp, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.”
Shipping Delta 9 to & from Wisconsin
Due to the legal status of delta 9 in Wisconsin, online retailers can ship delta 9 products to customers in the state. A number of delta 9 products are available in vape shops, convenience stores, and even gas stations around the Badger State, but whether they're safe and legal is another concern. Since the FDA does not regulate hemp-derived cannabinoids, it is your responsibility to choose which company to buy them from in a conscious and informed manner. No matter where in America's Dairyland you live, you can legally get delta 9 shipped straight to your door. Shipping delta 9 products is superior to getting them in person for many reasons, but here are just a few.
Online retailers tend to be more transparent and legitimate than local stores. Many online hemp shops provide full ingredient lists and third-party lab testing results for their products, meaning that you get absolute peace of mind while also catching a fun buzz. Additionally, you can find reviews of companies and even specific products from people all over the country, not just those in your state.
Online retailers also offer more variety than physical vape or smoke shops. When you shop in person, you need to choose from what they have in stock and settle for whatever's closest to what you want. Online, however, you can explore thousands of products until you find one that fits your needs exactly, and the best part is-- you can do it all from the comfort of your own home!
Delta 9 in Wisconsin
Although delta 9 is legal in Wisconsin, the state doesn’t feel the same way about all types of cannabis. Recreational marijuana remains straightly illegal in the Badger State and being caught in possession of it can result in hefty fines and serious consequences.
Possessing marijuana in Wisconsin is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison, as well as a fine of $500. Subsequent offenses can mean 3.5 years of jail time and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Milwaukee County has made efforts to reduce these punishments, with first offense possessions of 25 grams or less becoming punishable by $1 plus court fines. Subsequent offenses in the county carry virtually the same punishment, but they can lead to state penalties, which can certainly land you in hot water. Get caught with weed anywhere outside of Milwaukee, however, and you’re in for some trouble.
For now, it seems like the only way to recreationally reap the buzzy benefits of cannabis legally in the state of Wisconsin is by enjoying hemp-derived compounds like delta 9. That said, however, not all delta 9 products are made equal, and as a consumer, you need to know how to identify safe and high-quality products and avoid lower quality stuff.
Things to Consider When Buying Delta 9 in Wisconsin
Buying delta 9 in Wisconsin is legal, but it is not all safe to use. In spite of hemp's many natural benefits, including pain relief, anxiety management, and psychoactive effects, the extraction and production processes of hemp-derived cannabinoids can leave toxic residues. Selecting hemp product sources should be guided by a few factors.
Choosing Organic Hemp
Delta 9 products are required to be made from hemp in Wisconsin, but hemp isn't just about THC contents. The plant is capable of absorbing nutrients and toxins from its surroundings, including herbicides and pesticides used on its leaves and soil. So, if chemical pest control methods are used on the hemp plants your products are made from, those chemicals could end up in your body. Choose retailers that source their compounds from organic hemp grown without pesticides or herbicides.
Understanding Extraction Methods
Various methods can be used to extract hemp compounds, but CO2 is the safest and most effective. Although CO2 extractions are the costliest, they provide the best and most consistent results. A company that uses CO2 extractions is a sign that it cares more about quality and purity than making quick profits with inferior products.
The color of high-quality hemp extracts is usually amber or even pinkish. Manufacturers may bleach hemp extracts to make them appear cleaner and of higher quality. Remember, less color doesn't mean safer or higher quality. Look for a distillate that looks natural in color.
Examining Lab Testing
As any extraction method, including CO2, can be dangerous, lab testing is the most important item on this list. In addition to ensuring that you are receiving a product that is free from contaminants and additives, a third-party lab test provides accurate measurements of THC concentration, purity, and potency.
When it comes to choosing companies to buy cannabinoids from, be sure to do your own research. Check out their website and read the reviews of their customers. Are they satisfied or displeased with their purchase? Do they have any comments or complaints about customer service? You can tell a lot about a company's ethics by how they treat their customers-- and how you might be treated if you give them your business in the future.
Wisconsin Cannabis Market Grows with Delta 9, But Without Medical Marijuana
Although Wisconsin does allow for the sale, purchase, and use of hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta 9, the state does not have any medical marijuana laws. But it isn't for lack of trying. Several pieces surrounding the legalization of medical cannabis in the Badger State have been introduced throughout the years, but ultimately, they went nowhere.
Let’s take a closer look at the state of Wisconsin’s medical cannabis, and what legal hemp-derived products could mean for those who would benefit from such program.
Wisconsin Medical Cannabis Laws
Even though Wisconsin has no medical marijuana program, it does have a CBD-only medical cannabis law. Assembly Bill 726, also known as Lydia’s Law, was signed into law in 2014. It exempted individuals with seizure disorders from criminal penalties for possessing CBD. It’s only effective, however, if the CBD has no psychoactive properties and if a physician has approved CBD use for the patient. A few years later in 2017, the law was expanded by Act 4, which extended access CBD oil to patients with any medical condition.
Lydia’s Law allowed physicians and pharmacies to prescribe and dispense CBD to patients with epilepsy if they had been approved to do so by the FDA, or if by any chance CBD was rescheduled under the federal Controlled Substances Act (wink, wink). So, in a way, the Farm Bill of 2018 also saw to it that patients in Wisconsin could access CBD products.
Two of Wisconsin’s neighbors, Michigan and Illinois, both have already fully legalized recreational cannabis. Minnesota and Iowa, the state’s two other neighbors, both have medical cannabis programs of their own. So, it seems that Wisconsin is the only state in its neighborhood falling behind on cannabis legislation.
Medical cannabis, decriminalization, and full legalization bills have been defeated in the state year after year. In 2022, the legislature adjourned its session without even hearing any of the proposed cannabis-related legislative efforts, but a post-session hearing on medical cannabis was held in April. With the session adjourned, however, it is impossible for the bill to move forward.
It seems that the Wisconsin Assembly could not be less out of sync with voters in the state. In 2018, over a million Wisconsin voters approved advisory questions on their ballots urging lawmakers for more humane cannabis legislation. Every single measure was approved. While medical cannabis questions received between 67-89% approval rates in the cities and counties where they appeared, adult cannabis use questions garnered between 60-76% approval rates. In 2022, the referendum results saw almost the same amount of support for cannabis-related efforts.
Wisconsin Medical Cannabis vs. Hemp-Derived Delta 9
The discrepancies between what voters want and what legislators do could not be clearer in the Badger State. Even deeply red states like Alabama and Mississippi have enacted effective medical cannabis programs, so America’s Dairyland remains an anomaly in the country. Wisconsin wants legal and accessible medical cannabis, so hopefully that becomes a reality sometime soon in the future.
In the meantime, residents of the Badger State can take some comfort in its hemp laws, which allow for delta 9 products and other hemp-derived cannabinoids to be used as long as they contain no more than 0.3% THC. Although they seem like two different things, delta 9 derived from hemp and delta 9 derived from marijuana are essentially the same compound. In fact, they’re chemically identical. They only differ in how much THC they’re allowed to contain under the law. Just between us, however, if you take enough hemp-derived delta 9, it certainly feels like marijuana.
Delta 9 in Wisconsin: Final Thoughts
So, is delta 9 legal in Wisconsin? As long as it is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, delta 9 is legal in the state of Wisconsin. And without recreational or medical cannabis programs anywhere in America’s Dairyland, the legal status of hemp-derived compounds is a heaven sent for the state’s residents.
If you wish to reap the benefits of cannabis legally in the state of Wisconsin, hemp-derived cannabinoids are your only option. Remember, not all hemp is created equal, and the most important safety aspect of achieving a positive experience is knowing where to source your hemp. Look for lab tests, avoid bleach, and so some research on a company before purchasing their products. Your health goes first, and a great buzz awaits you once you find the right retailer!