Assembly Republicans’ medical marijuana bill, which received criticism from Democrats and Senate Republicans, likely won’t pass this session, according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). 

The restrictive bill, which was unveiled by lawmakers in January, would instruct the state Department of Health Services to operate five dispensaries across the state where registered patients with a qualifying medical condition could obtain medical marijuana products. 

“I think it’s unlikely that it’s going to pass this session unfortunately,” Vos said during a Thursday press conference. He said he thought there was still support for the bill in the Assembly, but that “we see that the Senate wants to have a more liberal version than the one that we’re willing to pass.”

Some Senate Republicans took issue with the state-run dispensary aspect of the bill, saying that they thought a medical marijuana program would be more effective if it was run by the private sector. Democrats also expressed concerns that the proposal was too restrictive.

Vos said the bill would still receive a public hearing but not before the Assembly adjourns for the year. He added that the hearing would be meant to help build support for the bill for the next session. 

Wisconsin remains an outlier in the U.S. by not having any program legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use. Most neighboring states, including Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois, have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. 

According to a recent Marquette Law School Poll, 86% of registered voters in Wisconsin support legalizing medical marijuana.


“}]] Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said “the Senate wants to have a more liberal version than the one that we’re willing to pass.”  Read More