What you need to know as Wisconsin considers legalizing marijuana

Legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding medical marijuana in Wisconsin are up for discussion. Both topics are part of the governor’s proposed state budget and are being discussed by the Legislature this week.

There’s a big difference between THC and CBD. As legislators discuss what could soon be legalized under this budget, it might be hard for consumers to keep up. These terms are not all the same and have very different uses that people should be aware of before they try to buy it.

There’s a wide selection to chose from inside La Crosse’s Tree Huggers Co-Op.

“Everything from tinctures, to edibles, gummy bears, to pet CBD and dog treats to topicals,” said Brent Welch, owner of Tree Huggers Co-Op.

All of the products inside the store come from industrial hemp.

“The cannabis plant is pulling out or producing more THC. Hemp plants are producing more of CBD. They both produce both,” Welch explained.

These are two of the many compounds in the plant.

“They all have a different place. They can all kind of effect different receptors in our bodies,” said Rayna Coey, manager of Tree Huggers Co-op.

CBD is legal and will not get you high. It can be used to aid digestion, relieve anxiety or treat acne.

“I really like to eat gummies to help me fall asleep or even some of the topicals just for targeting inflammation areas,” Coey said.

Governor Tony Evers’ budget would legalize THC products for medical use if they have a specific debilitating medical condition. While THC will get you high, it can be used as a treatment for severe pain, seizures, persistent muscle spasms.

“The cannabis you see in the dispensaries– the medical dispensaries– that’s grown from a cannabis plant,” Welch said.

He’s talking about dispensaries in states like California or Washington. But right now, businesses in Wisconsin can only carry products with tiny amounts of THC.

“We only have one small section that has that full spectrum in it and it’s really specifically for patients that really, really need it,” Coey said.

While people are still learning what these products are used for, Welch is seeing a shift in how people are talking about it.

“It’s being talked about more at dinner tables, and on social media, news, and people are starting to do their own research and kind of figuring it out,” Welch said.

If you are buying these products now, Welch said do your research. Look into the retailer you’re buying from and be cautious of what you’re getting especially if it’s off the internet.

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