Neighboring states' marijuana laws show just how bad Iowa is

This year is set to be another big one for drug reform in the United States. Not so in Iowa, where politicians with old-timey views on science and personal freedom insist on preserving strict prohibition.

Take a look at the six states bordering Iowa, ranging from staunchly conservative to moderately liberal, and you can see how embarrassing the situation is. Iowa already has some of the region’s harshest criminal penalties for marijuana possession, and there’s a good chance we will look even worse by comparison at the end of 2020.


Nearly Half Of Wisconsin Banks Likely To Offer Hemp Banking Services In 2020

In early December, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and others issued new guidance for hemp banking to clarify the legal status of commercial hemp production and requirements for financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).


All talk, no movement on Wisconsin marijuana laws

The past year saw lots of talk about the status of marijuana in Wisconsin. But the closest we came to any action was Governor Tony Evers putting language in his budget that would have essentially legalized pot here — a non-starter for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

“I don’t want to legalize recreational marijuana, I want to allow for the limited use of medical marijuana to help people in pain and who are suffering,” said Vos, adding that Evers “poisoned the well,” by attempting to legalize cannabis via the state budget.


Wisconsin lawmakers take another stab at passing medical marijuana bill

Amid increasing availability of marijuana in neighboring states, lawmakers in Wisconsin are vying to pass at least limited medical cannabis legislation.

Last week, following several unsuccessful attempts, two Republicans, Representative Mary Felzkowski and Senator Kathy Bernier, introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The bill is inspired by rising public support and their own personal experiences with cancer.


GOP Shows Support For Legalizing Medical Cannabis In Wisconsin

For more than a decade, the Wisconsin Legislature has been where marijuana reform bills go to die. But a new bill to legalize some forms of medical marijuana, introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers instead of the usual cohort of Democrats, may fare differently. At the very least, the new medical marijuana proposal may mean that the Wisconsin GOP’s brick-wall opposition to marijuana legalization is beginning to crack.


With weed legalization in neighboring states, Wisconsin employers are rethinking marijuana policies

The laws about marijuana in Wisconsin aren't changing. But recent legalization of recreational marijuana in neighboring states and shifting societal norms are causing employers to rethink how to treat cannabis use. 

Calls to MRA's human resources hotline about workplace drug testing increased in recent months. Employers are asking just how exactly the changing tides will affect them. 

"It's still a little hazy," said Michael Hyatt, human resources government affairs director at MRA. Pewaukee-based MRA is one of the largest employer associations in the country, with more than 4,000 member organizations. 


Wisconsin Governor Signs New Hemp Bill Into Law

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has signed a hemp bill into law that brings the state into line with the Federal 2018 Farm Bill.

Senate Bill 188, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 68, saw a number of changes introduced, including the modification of the definition of the plant – the Act uses the term “hemp” instead of “industrial hemp” throughout.

The Act also repeals Wisconsin’s hemp pilot program, which will occur one year after U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes a plan for regulating production of the crop.


Wisconsin governor signs bill making hemp program permanent

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday signed into law a bipartisan bill that makes Wisconsin's hemp-growing program permanent as it continues to surge in popularity in just its second year.

Hailed by supporters as Wisconsin's "comeback crop," hemp is seeing renewed popularity in large part because of the growth in the market for CBD, a legal, therapeutic compound extracted from the cannabis plant that marketers say can treat a range of ailments without getting users high. It's widely marketed in oils, lotions and foods.

Hemp is also used to make a variety of products, including rope, fabrics, lotions and granola bars.


Wisconsinites use cannabis as a medicine, but research and the Law are not yet on their side

After four decades of using strong prescription drugs to treat Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive disorder, Patty developed an aggressive form of skin cancer.

“It’s because my body has been suppressed for so long, it can’t fight it [cancer],” the Wisconsin resident said.

Patty, who has worked at her father’s restaurant for 27 years, now struggles to handle full-time duties.

“I’m trying to get disability, but I’ve been denied once already. I don’t plan on quitting working. I just need help. I need help because I can’t do a full-time job,” Patty said.


Wisconsin Assembly set to pass bill helping hemp industry

The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to give final approval to a bill designed to help the state's industrial hemp industry as the program enters its second year.

The bill up for approval Tuesday would align the state's program with new requirements under the 2018 federal farm bill, while also allowing Wisconsin to retain control.

The bipartisan measure is designed to help farmers, hemp processors, retailers and consumers as the industry in Wisconsin grows.

The bill comes as some lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers are pushing the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize small amounts of pot. There is also a bill to fully legalize recreational marijuana.


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