Q: Has Wisconsin Implemented an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program?

A: Yes. 2017 Wisconsin Act 100 (Act) creates a new industrial hemp research pilot program. The Act allows Wisconsin farmers to obtain a permit to grow and sell industrial hemp. The program is administered by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Participants that obtain a license, and follow DATCP's requirements, are exempt from criminal prosecution, and products made from industrial hemp, including CBD, are lawful.

Financial institutions with customers participating in the program should become familiar with the requirements. While the Act does not require financial institutions to police participants, it is still prudent to ensure customers are operating within the law. Such accounts should be treated as a greater compliance risk. Financial institutions will also want to closely monitor their loan customers. For example, DATCP may require farmers who violate their requirements to destroy their crop.

While the Act permits the possession, production, and sale of hemp and CBD oil in Wisconsin, there is a lack of clarity as to how industrial hemp is regulated on a Federal Level. Federally chartered institutions will want to discuss the matter with their regulator.

WBA hosted a webinar on the topic of industrial hemp which can be accessed on our website here.

WBA also recommends reviewing the Act here.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice issued a notice on industrial hemp. Read the notice here.