2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
January 16, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Felzkowski, Snyder, Schraa,
Sortwell, Tittl, Quinn, Edming, James, Kitchens, Kulp, Krug, Loudenbeck,
Novak, Plumer and Summerfield, cosponsored by Senators Bernier and
Wirch. Referred to Committee on State Affairs.
1An Act to renumber
440.035 (2m) (b) and 450.07 (1m); to renumber and
440.035 (2m) (a) and 450.071 (1); to amend
15.435 (title), chapter 73 3
(title), 77.52 (13), 77.53 (10), 108.04 (5) (a) (intro.), 111.34 (1) (b), 182.001 (3), 4
961.38 (title), 961.385 (1) (aj), 961.385 (2) (intro.), 961.385 (2) (b), 961.385 (2) 5
(cm) 3. a., 961.385 (2) (cs) 1. and 961.385 (2) (cs) 2. (intro.), b., c. and d.; and to
15.435 (2), 15.437, 20.566 (9) (q), 20.923 (4) (e) 13., 20.923 (6) (hb), 25.56, 7
73.17, 73.18, 77.54 (69), 111.32 (9m), 111.32 (12c), 111.34 (3), subchapter IV of 8
chapter 139 [precedes 139.97], 440.035 (2m) (a) 2., 440.035 (2m) (b) 2., 441.07 9
(1g) (d) 3., 441.20, 448.015 (4) (bm) 3., 448.039, 450.03 (1) (em), 450.07 (1m) (b), 10
450.071 (1) (b) 2., 961.01 (12q), 961.01 (14g), 961.01 (19m), 961.01 (20hm), 11
961.01 (20ht), 961.01 (20t), 961.33, 961.38 (1p), 961.385 (1) (afm), 961.385 (2) 12
(am) and (an), 961.385 (2) (bc) and (bd) and 961.55 (8) (c) of the statutes;
1relating to: medical marijuana, granting rule-making authority, and
2providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a program that allows for the possession and use of medical
marijuana by registered patients and that licenses medical marijuana producers,
processors, dispensaries, transporters, and laboratories to operate in this state.
Medical Marijuana Regulatory Commission
The bill creates the Medical Marijuana Regulatory Commission to regulate the
medical marijuana program. The commission is attached to the Department of
Revenue and consists of one member appointed by the governor, one member
appointed by the senate majority leader, one member appointed by the speaker of the
assembly, one member appointed by the senate minority leader, and one member
appointed by the assembly minority leader. The members serve staggered terms of
six years each. The governor selects one of the appointees to serve as the chairperson
for a two-year term.
Recommendations; registered patients and caregivers
The bill authorizes physicians, physician assistants, and certified advanced
practice nurse prescribers to provide a written recommendation for a patient to use
medical marijuana under certain circumstances, including the existence of a bona
fide health care provider-patient relationship and that the patient suffers from a
qualifying medical condition. Minors are eligible to receive a recommendation for use
of medical marijuana if certain requirements are met. Medical marijuana must be
in the form of a liquid, oil, pill, or tincture or in a form that is applied topically.
Under the bill, patients and primary caregivers may apply to the commission
to receive a registry identification card, allowing the patient or primary caregiver to
obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary. Applicants must meet certain criteria,
including that the person is a resident of the state and submits a written
recommendation that is less than 30 days old from a physician, physician assistant,
or certified advanced practice nurse prescriber. A primary caregiver must be over the
age of 21 and may not have any drug-related conviction. The commission is required
to establish and maintain a list of registered cardholders and must establish rules
for implementation of the medical marijuana program as it relates to
recommendation and registration.
The bill also requires the commission to establish procedures for physicians,
physician assistants, and certified advanced practice nurse prescribers to apply for
certification and to be certified to recommend the use of medical marijuana to
qualifying patients. All such persons certified by the commission must keep
complete and accurate records of the recommendations made and for whom the
recommendations are made and provide that information to the commission at the
The bill provides civil, criminal, and professional disciplinary immunity for
physicians, physician assistants, and certified advanced practice nurse prescribers
who recommend medical marijuana for patients in accordance with the
requirements and limitations specified in the bill. However, the bill allows the
Medical Examining Board and the Board of Nursing to issue nonmandatory
guidelines regarding best practices in making recommendations for the use of
Licensed producers, processors, transporters, dispensaries, and
The bill requires any person operating as a medical marijuana producer,
processor, transporter, dispensary, or laboratory to obtain a license from the
commission. An applicant may not obtain a license if the applicant, or any principal
officer or board member, has been convicted of a controlled substance offense. The
applicant, and each principal officer or board member, must be at least 21 years old,
and may not have been a principal officer or board member of a producer, processor,
transporter, dispensary, or laboratory that has had its license revoked and not
reinstated. In addition, the applicant or at least one principal officer or board
member must be a resident of this state. The applicant must also show that it will
have sufficient security measures and record-keeping procedures in place. A
producer, processor, or dispensary may not have any financial interest in a
laboratory, and a laboratory may not have any financial interest in a producer,
processor, or dispensary. A license issued by the commission expires after one year.
Under the bill, a licensee may not operate within 300 feet of a school or child
care center. Every employee of a licensee must be at least 21 years old and may not
have been convicted of a controlled substance offense. In addition, dispensary
employees must complete certain training, as required by the commission by rule.
The bill requires licensed producers, licensed processors, and licensed
laboratories to operate within an enclosed, locked facility. A licensed producer is
prohibited from growing medical marijuana for personal, family, or household use
and may distribute its medical marijuana only to a licensed processor. A licensed
processor must send samples of the medical marijuana that it processes to a licensed
laboratory to test and certify the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of the
processor's products and test for the presence of certain contaminants; must package
its products in child-resistant packaging; and must label each package with how
many ounces of medical marijuana it contains and the THC concentration of the
product. A licensed processor may distribute its products only to a licensed
dispensary. A licensed dispensary must label the medical marijuana that it
dispenses with certain information, including the name of the dispensary and the
name of the patient, and may dispense medical marijuana only to a person who
presents a valid registry identification card and only in accordance with the patient's
recommendation. All marijuana and medical marijuana that is transported by way
of a public road may only be transported by a licensed transporter.
The bill also authorizes the commission to inspect, without prior notice, the
premises and records of a licensee or an applicant. The commission may also
establish rules for suspending, revoking, or refusing to issue or renew a license. The
bill authorizes the commission to promulgate any other rules necessary to
administer and implement the medical marijuana program as it relates to producers,
processors, transporters, dispensaries, and laboratories.
Medical marijuana tax
The bill imposes an excise tax on a licensed processor at the rate of 10 percent
of the sales price on each wholesale sale in this state of marijuana to a licensed
dispensary. All proceeds from the tax, and all fees and penalties collected by the
commission, are deposited into a segregated fund, identified in the bill as the medical
The bill decriminalizes the manufacture, possession, distribution, and delivery
of medical marijuana if that manufacture, possession, distribution, or delivery is
done in compliance with the medical marijuana program established by the
Under current law, with certain exceptions, it is illegal to manufacture, possess,
distribute, or deliver THC, including THC in marijuana, which is classified as a
schedule I controlled substance. The bill authorizes the possession, distribution, or
delivery of medical marijuana by a qualifying patient or his or her primary
caregivers if 1) the possession, distribution, or delivery of marijuana is done to
facilitate a qualifying patient's medical use of the marijuana in accordance with his
or her recommendation; 2) the marijuana is legally obtained from a person who is
authorized to distribute or deliver medical marijuana under the laws of this state;
3) the amount of usable marijuana does not exceed 15 grams of cannabis concentrate
per qualifying patient; and 4) the qualifying patient or primary caregiver has in his
or her immediate possession a registry identification card. The bill authorizes the
manufacture, possession, distribution, or delivery of medical marijuana by an entity
that is licensed by the commission or an employee or agent of such a licensed entity
if the manufacture, possession, distribution, or delivery is done in the usual course
of business or employment.
Under the bill, if a person manufactures, possesses, distributes, delivers, or
uses medical marijuana in a way that is not in compliance with the requirements of
the medical marijuana program, he or she can be referred by the Medical Marijuana
Regulatory Commission for criminal prosecution under the controlled substances act
or a local law that prohibits the possession, manufacture, distribution, or delivery of
Prescription drug monitoring program
Current law requires the Controlled Substances Board to establish a
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) that requires pharmacies and
health care practitioners to generate records documenting the dispensing of
monitored prescription drugs. Records from the PDMP may be disclosed to persons
specified under current law or by the board by rule.
This bill also requires records to be generated for the PDMP documenting
recommendations for medical marijuana and the issuance of registry identification
cards for medical marijuana.
Fair employment law
Under the current fair employment law, an employer may not refuse to hire or
employ, bar or terminate from employment, or discriminate against any individual
in promotion or compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
because the individual has a disability. Such discrimination against an individual
with a disability includes refusing to reasonably accommodate an employee's or
prospective employee's disability unless the employer can demonstrate that the
accommodation would pose a hardship on the employer's program, enterprise, or
business. Also under the fair employment law, an employer may not refuse to hire
or employ, bar or terminate from employment, or discriminate against any individual
in promotion or compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
because of the individual's use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer's
premises during nonworking hours.
DWD enforces the fair employment law and may receive and investigate
complaints charging discrimination or discriminatory practices and may, if an
employer is found to have engaged in discrimination, order such action by the
respondent as will effectuate the purpose of the fair employment law, including
awarding back pay. Decisions of DWD hearing examiners made under the fair
employment law are subject to further review by the Labor and Industry Review
Commission and a court.
The bill provides that the fair employment law does not apply to any act of an
employer based on an individual's use of medical marijuana.
Unemployment insurance; worker's compensation
Currently, an individual whose work is terminated by an employer for
misconduct by the employee connected with the employee's work is ineligible to
receive unemployment insurance benefits until the individual satisfies certain
conditions. In addition, the wages paid to the individual by that employer are
excluded from the employee's base period wages for purposes of calculating the
individual's entitlement to UI benefits. “Misconduct,” for purposes of these
provisions, is defined specifically as including a violation by an employee of an
employer's reasonable written policy concerning the use of a controlled substance if
the employee 1) had knowledge of the policy; and 2) admitted to the use of a controlled
substance or refused to take a test or tested positive for the use of a controlled
substance in a test used by the employer in accordance with a testing methodology
approved by DWD.
Also under current law, an employer is not liable for temporary disability
benefits under the worker's compensation law during an employee's healing period
if the employee is suspended or terminated for misconduct as defined above.
The bill retains these provisions regarding misconduct and further provides
that such a reasonable written policy may include a drug-free workplace policy.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
15.435 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
(title) Same; attached boards
15.435 (2) of the statutes is created to read:
15.435 (2) Medical marijuana regulatory commission
. (a) Creation;
. No later than 30 days after the effective date of this subsection .... [LRB 6
inserts date], there is created a medical marijuana regulatory commission attached 7
to the department of revenue under s. 15.03, consisting of the following members:
1. One member appointed by the governor.
2. One member appointed by the senate majority leader.
3. One member appointed by the speaker of the assembly.
4. One member appointed by the senate minority leader.