MADISON – Today, Senator Chris Larson released the following statement in response to the Assembly of Children and Families public hearing on Assembly Bill 49 (Senate Bill 10), regarding nonhallucinogenic cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Senator Larson offered the following comments:

“Three years ago, after hearing many heartbreaking stories from Wisconsin families, legislators from both sides of the aisle worked together to help kids in our state who have rare seizure disorders and may benefit from CBD oil. Compassionate care for Wisconsin children was, and should be, a bipartisan endeavor.

“Unfortunately, it quickly came to the attention of state leaders that there are still significant barriers to accessing CBD oil, and families are desperate for the Legislature to act. In fact, after the passage of ‘Lydia’s Law’ three years ago, I was approached by a neighbor in my community who shared his own story, and the disappointment and concern that his family isn’t able to access cannabidiol for medical use. He asked that the Legislature do something to address this issue.

“Last week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 10, a half-measure bill that would unfortunately only address some of the barriers that Wisconsin families face in accessing CBD oil. Senate Bill 10 does not go far enough to actually address the barriers in obtaining CBD medicine for suffering kids.

“That’s why today Representative Jimmy Anderson and I have circulated a bill for co-sponsorship that would create a safe and legal process for cannabidiol to be manufactured in the state. This proposal (LRB 2105) would remove barriers to accessing CBD treatment by doing the following:

Establishing a licensure program, administered by the Department of Safety and Professional Services for individuals to produce and distribute CBD oil
Allowing a person who holds a license to manufacture CBD oil to possess tetrahydrocannabinols, so long as it is only going to be used to produce nonpsychoactive CBD oil
Clarifying that any individual with the appropriate license may distribute CBD oil and any individual may possess CBD oil

“It’s time for lawmakers to face the truth and acknowledge that, while well-intentioned, Lydia’s law is ineffective and Senate Bill 10/ Assembly Bill 49 will not fully fix the problem. Families have continued to suffer, and the majority party has continued to delay access to this critical treatment option.

“We cannot keep writing out prescriptions without a way for families to fill them in Wisconsin.”

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