A legislative proposal that would legalize marijuana throughout Wisconsin has received a committee assignment in the Senate.
Senate Bill 486 was filed last week with 36 cosponsors; 10 senators and 26 state representatives. The proposal has now been assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
It must be passed through this and an additional committee before it can be considered by the full Senate, and if passed by the Senate then the full House of Representatives. Passage through both chambers would send the measure to Governor Tony Evers for final consideration.
SB 486 would allow those 21 and older to purchase, possess and use up to five ounces of dried marijuana. The personal cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants would also be allowed, given it’s in an enclosed location.
The law would allow licensed marijuana stores to sell marijuana and marijuana products. There would be a 15% excise tax on licensed marijuana producers, and a 10% tax on marijuana retailers and lounges. The majority of the taxes would reach the general fund. Medical marijuana would be exempt from any tax.
“Today, [State Representative Darrin Brian Madison Jr.] and I are introducing a bill to fully legalize cannabis for responsible, adult usage in the State of Wisconsin”, Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard said in a social media post last month. “The people of this state know that antiquated prohibition policies are failing. It’s time to #LegalizeIt in Wisconsin once and for all.”
“Folks, the most dangerous thing about cannabis is that it is illegal”, said Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard after announcing the bill. “Legalizing and taxing cannabis in Wisconsin — just like we already do with alcohol — regulates an already existing illicit market and creates safer communities.”
Agard says that “Wisconsin is quite literally an island of prohibition and people are spending their hard-earned dollars in our neighboring states. It’s time we change that narrative, create opportunity in Wisconsin, and legalize #cannabis.”
According to a legislative report released earlier this year, Wisconsin residents in 2022 spent well over $100 million on marijuana products purchased legally in Illinois, despite marijuana remaining illegal in Wisconsin.