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As I See It

Hemp farming rules clear as mud

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A new Wisconsin law is about as clear as the mud in which farmers are planting hemp seeds. Wisconsin lawmakers removed a ban on hemp farming six months ago. Farmers can grow and sell it for the first time in 75 years. Wisconsin now has its first hemp store, a place called Priceland Hemp in Black River Falls. The store opened two weeks ago, and it was clear early on there is a demand. Nearly 1000 people visited Priceland Hemp in its opening weekend. But now store owner Joel Peterson is being warned by Wisconsin’s Attorney General that he may be operating illegally. That is because in addition to selling hemp bracelets and other products, he is also selling CBD oil. The state says selling or posessing CBD oil, which comes from hemp and is used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, including cancer, is illegal. Many of the customers at Peterson’s store are people seeking relief from their pain. But the Attorney General’s ruling means Peterson’s store could be shuttered, or he could face criminal charges. That is not what lawmakers intended when they passed the law, and there is too much confusion about what the law really says. Wisconsin legislators should get back to work and provide clarification so that hemp farmers are allowed to sell CBD oil. Those who want to buy it aren’t looking for a high, as it doesn’t contain enough THC for that. They simply want to finally get some relief from whatever ailments they suffer from. The state shouldn’t get in the way of that.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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