For those living in Wisconsin who have a need or desire for marijuana or hemp, growing the plant themselves may seem like the best option for the situation. Not buying it means avoiding the dangerous unregulated market and keeping potential profits out of the hands of drug cartels, gangs, and other criminal elements. It also means the person growing it knows what fertilizers and other chemicals helped grow the plant.
While there are many reasons why someone may want to grow their own marijuana, it simply isn’t legal to do so in Wisconsin. State laws on marijuana are very clear. Even those who qualify for medical marijuana use in Wisconsin may not grow their own marijuana. Anyone who does so could face serious criminal charges.
Are you facing charges related to growing hemp or marijuana in Wisconsin? Contact our Milwaukee-based criminal defense lawyer today.
Growing hemp and marijuana are not the same thing
In 2017, a law passed in Wisconsin allowing the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes. Hemp is often used interchangeably with marijuana since both plants are from the same family. However, hemp crops typically use breeds created for seed production or long stems for fiber. Marijuana, on the other hand, has been bred for higher levels of psychoactive substances in its flowers.
While the state is currently accepting applications from farmers for growing hemp, these farmers will operate under strict regulations. Their plants will serve a utilitarian purpose and may end up tested to ensure low levels of psychoactive compounds. The average citizen cannot grow marijuana and claim that it is a hemp plant.
Know the penalties for marijuana cultivation
Is marijuana legal in Wisconsin?
The answer is no. Whether you have a medical reason for the marijuana or not, you could find yourself facing felony charges for growing even a single plant in your home or your garden, or facing serious penalties for possession. The severity of the penalties associated with the cultivation felony charges will depend on how many plants there are.
People caught with four plants or fewer face up to 3.5 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. For those with gardens of between four and 20 plants, the jail sentence increases to six years. Those accused of growing between 20 and 50 plants could end up serving a decade in jail and paying a fine of as much as $25,000.
Larger gardens with between 50 and 200 plants could carry up to 12.5 years in jail. People growing more than 200 plants face up to 15 years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines. If a person has a previous cultivation charge on his or her record, the penalties for the offense could become even steeper. Marijuana cultivation charges demand careful consideration and a strong defense.
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Have you been affected by drug crimes? Contact Levine Law.
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