The state of Wisconsin would have the power to require a license for retailers of CBD products under proposed legislation that seeks to legitimize the hemp industry.

The Growing Opportunities Act, introduced with bipartisan support, updates current state laws surrounding industrial hemp. The plant has been the subject of much discussion across Wisconsin since last year’s Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

Although related to cannabis, hemp contains a limited concentration of THC and cannot produce a high. Advocates for CBD maintain the extract can help with an array of issues, such as inflammation and anxiety.

Today, purveyors of CBD products are not required to obtain a license from the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. State Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), a co-author of the bill, said during a Tuesday panel that the legislation is focused on producers and processors, rather than stores that sell hemp and its derivatives.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association organized the panel, hosted in Madison, amid questions from the banking industry on lending to hemp businesses.

The WBA said it wanted to bring together subject matter experts to address challenges and possible solutions regarding the future of hemp. Bankers have expressed hesitance in lending to hemp businesses, citing a lack of clear guidance from regulators.

Read more in the Milwaukee Business Journal and the Wisconsin Farm Report.