Wisconsin Proves Not All Cannabidiol News is Good News


Amylynne Santiago Volker has been pushing for a change to Wisconsin laws to make cannabidiol (CBD) accessible to her nine-year-old son Nick. In this mission, she has met members of the state law-making body, starting with her own assemblyman, Rep. Robb Kahl.

Nick suffers from Doose syndrome, a disease that affects children and often does not respond to medication. The illness exposes him to about 100 seizures daily. Through research on the use of CBD to treat other kids, like Charlotte Figi, who have the similar diseases, Volker was convinced that the hope for her son’s health was in the cannabis plant.

In February, there was good cannabidiol news coming out of the state assembly. Rep. Robb Kahl had drafted abill, AB 726, which sought to legalize the use of CBD to treat conditions like Nick’s. The bill passed through the assembly and received huge support in the senate.

Finally, on Wednesday the 17th of June, 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed it into law before a crowd of witnesses, of which Amylynne Santiago Volker was one.

The Law is Far From the Best Cannabidiol News

After the initial excitement and positive coverage by various media houses within the state and nationwide, questions over its efficacy to serve patients like Nick are increasing. These questions had started even before the bill was discussed in the assembly. However, the majority of the people were not interested in details then.

A closer look at the wording of the law now has left many supporters of the CBD medicine and legal experts with a not-so-positive conclusion: nothing much will change in the state as far as the law is concerned.

First, the law does not allow any local production of CBD. The state is to get supplies from other states. This is, however, subject to approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This leads to the second point: no doctor within the state is going to advise their patients to use CBD before approval comes from the FDA.

Cannaibis is Still Illegal Under Federal Law

Many agree that to get this approval is not going to be easy, given that cannabis is illegal under federal law. This exposes patients to a procedure that is uncertain and highly biased.

This state of the law was occasioned by the need of the drafters of the bill to get something for the patients while at the same time appeasing those who still believe there is need for tighter regulations on cannabis use.

This political balancing act is evident in the statement that the governor made while breaking this cannabidiol news. He said, “It’s very controlled, from the examining board and oversight by pharmacists and physicians, and I think that’s important moving forward. This is not in any way what we see with other laws across the country.” However, the real impact of the new law will become clear when it comes into operation later this year.

Do you believe that those finding fault in this law are justified in any way? Share your opinion with us. We are always happy to hear from you.

  • Ben

    Both federal and Wisconsin law exclude from their definitions of *marijuana* the mature stalk (that is, hemp) and any deritive therefrom except resin, in Wisconsin, it must also not be mixed with any part of the cannabis plant not excluded from the definition of marijuana. Cannabidiol may be derived from marijuana (like Charlotte’s Web), in which instance it is a schedule 1 controlled substance and illegal under federal law regardless of your state’s stance on medical or recreational marijuana. HOWEVER, cannabidiol may also be derived from hemp, in which instance it is reegulated only by the FDA as a food supplement (that is, it is basically ignored). Although a few US farmers have federal permission to grow cannabis for industrial hemp, generally the hemp must be imported (usually from Canada or the UK) because while the stalk is immature it is marijuana and illegal under federal law. That is why you can find so many companies, including this one, selling CBD hemp oil. For children with Dravet’s syndrome, like Charlotte Figi, there is also an FDA approved *orphan drug* oral suspension of CBD sold under the name Epidiolex.

    To give you an idea of how neither Congress, the DEA, the FDA, or the courts have no idea how this hodge-podge of laws and regulations work together: marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance. THC, the psychoactive canniboid in cannabis, is listed separately as a schedule 1 controlled substance. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that since naturally occurring THC is covered under schedule 1 with marijuana, the separate listing of THC on schedule 1 can only mean Congress intended it to mean synthetic THC. However the FDA-approved drug Marino is synthetic THC, but is listed as a schedule 3 controlled substance. In short, the people running our country are idiots; please stop voting for them.

  • Ben

    Excuse my typographical errors; I was using a tablet with autocorrect and missed fixing a few. The only typo of any consequence is Marino, not Marino.

  • Ben

    It did it again! Marinol, not Marino.

  • Tim

    What’s the Problem, read this. I thought Federal Law trumped State Law in these cases.

    In 2004 the HIA successfully won a federal court case (2004: HIA vs. DEA – final verdict given by judge Betty Fletcher) that established the legal domestic sale of hemp products, and gave legal clarity to the distinction between hemp and marijuana, expressing and memorializing the fact that Hemp has never been scheduled by the DEA as a controlled substance, and naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp products are exempt from the THC and marijuana laws established in the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

    Judge Betty Fletcher wrote “[T]hey (DEA) cannot regulate naturally-occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana-i.e. non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I. The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled, and it has not followed procedures required to schedule a substance. The DEA’s definition of “THC” contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the CSA and cannot be upheld.”

    Due to the legal clarity brought about by the efforts of the HIA, companies like ours are able to function in America and offer the many different services that hemp companies do, and so we are truly honored and grateful to be officially affiliated with this group of exceptional people who are, as we are, constantly striving to make this world a better place.