WI Prosecutor Quickly Reverses Position on CBD

Racine County, WI DA Hanson reversed her position on CBD products this week.

In a rapid series of events this week the Racine County, Wisconsin District Attorney (DA), Trisha Hanson, announced on June 12 that CBD products were illegal in the county. (Racine County lies next to Milwaukee and has a robust market for CBD products.)

DA Hanson reversed course a mere three days later. To her credit, she apologized for her confusion. I got involved in the matter shortly after DA Hanson’s initial announcement on Tuesday because one of my client’s products was prominently displayed in several news stories. After emails to news reporters (see below) and a phone interview I had with Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT, DA Hanson announced on Friday that CBD products were, in fact, lawful to sell in Racine so long as they are derived from industrial hemp and do not contain THC levels that exceed 0.3%.

In her initial announcement, DA Hanson stated: “These vendors claim that the version of CBD they sell is legal because it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, making it by their interpretation, legal. It is not.

In the memo retracting her statement, she said: “For retailers that sell products from hemp, including CBD, — as long as the hemp product was produced under a state pilot program, including an out of state program, a retailer may import it and sell it.

Although this type of thing is frustrating, I always appreciate and respect when law enforcement takes the time to reconsider its views and is willing to publicly reverse policy in light of clarifying information. In this instance, DA Hanson was clearly misinformed about CBD law but was willing to reverse her position and even apologize when it became clear that her position was not supported by law. In our current political climate, when claims of “fake news” and further entrenchment are gaining traction as defenses to damning evidence, this is a refreshing and positive example to other officials.

Here is an example of one of the emails that I sent to news outlets:

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Rod Kight is a lawyer based in Asheville, NC. He is licensed in North Carolina and Oregon and represents legal cannabis businesses. You can contact him by clicking here.

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