Proposal Unveiled for Medical Cannabis in Wisconsin

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A plan for a medical cannabis program in Wisconsin was revealed earlier this week.

A new proposal, announced on January 8, 2024, would create a state-run medical cannabis program in Wisconsin (1). The program would establish five dispensaries throughout the state and products would be sourced only from state-licensed growers and processors (1). The approved cannabis would be distributed by state-licensed pharmacists, would include products such as edibles and oils, and would exclude smokable products (1). Only individuals with diagnosed conditions including chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer would be able to access the medicine and only after they successfully apply for a permit (1,2). Doctors would be permitted only to confirm a patient’s diagnosis, not recommend medical cannabis (2).

Concerns over legal medical cannabis leading to recreational drug use have reportedly led to the restrictive nature of the bill (1). "We want to make this available to people, but we want to have tight controls on it as well," said Representative Jon Plumer, co-author of the bill, in a press conference (1). Plumer also stated more dispensaries could potentially be added in the future and that generating tax revenue was not part of the design of the bill (1).


The bill would need approval by the Assembly, Senate, and Governor Tony Evers (1,3). “I am a firm believer that private entities, run by those with expertise in this area of medicine, are more efficient and more effective than any government agency," said Senator Mary Felzkowski, who has previously supported efforts for a medical cannabis program (1). "Taking this option off the table is the primary cause of my unease at this time."

Governor Evers has also stated his support for legal medical and recreational cannabis in the state (1). Currently, unlike nearby Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, Wisconsin does not have a fully legal recreational cannabis program (1).

Read our coverage of recent developments regarding recreational cannabis in Wisconsin.


  1. van Wagtendonk, A. Wisconsin would launch a small, state-run medical marijuana program under GOP proposal (accessed Jan 12, 2024).
  2. Kleiber, A. Wisconsin Republicans introduce bill to legalize medical marijuana (accessed Jan 12, 2024).
  3. Bauer, S. Wisconsin Republicans’ medical marijuana plan gets lukewarm reception from Evers, lawmakers (accessed Jan 12, 2024).