Grafton proactively says no to CBD
Dispensaries remain a no-go in the village

By Laurie Arendt - Special to Conley Media

June 27, 2019

GRAFTON — Though it was not on the agenda as an action item, the Grafton Plan Commission quickly agreed that the village of Grafton’s current zoning was adequate in regards to CBD dispensaries, at least for the time being.

“CBD dispensaries are not identified in any zoning districts,” said Village President Jim Brunnquell, who also chairs the Plan Commission. “If we don’t do anything, it’s basically not allowed in the village.”

The topic had been brought forth by village staff, who were seeking guidance in regards to recent inquiries from parties interested in opening CBD dispensaries in the village.

“It’s not for action, it’s really for direction,” said village Attorney Mike Herband. “Some of the issues, we’ve seen … it’s a little complicated.”

Herbrand also serves as the attorney for the city of Cedarburg, which currently has a draft ordinance under consideration regarding CBD dispensaries, businesses that are primarily engaged in the sale of items manufactured from CBD or cannabidiol, which is derived from the hemp plant. He is familiar with the complicated issue of whether or not such businesses can legally sell these products in Wisconsin.

“The Food and Drug Administration prohibits the sale of food with CBD as an ingredient,” he explained. “The state of Wisconsin prohibits the sale of pet products that contain CBD, though you can make your own.”

However, he noted that the previous state attorney general, Brad Schimel, had given a non-enforcement direction regarding the existing laws concerning CBD. Some municipalities, such as Cedarburg, are attempting to proactively address the issue through changes to existing ordinances. Other municipalities are looking at CBD dispensaries as simply another form of retail businesses and thus are allowed to open and operate.

Brunnquell also questioned whether or not the sale of CBD products was legal under the most recent farm bill.

“That’s a good question, and there’s possibly some conflict in the existing laws,” said Herbrand. “It is gray, and I assume that there will be a fix from the Wisconsin Legislature.”

Plan Commissioners agreed that the time to address the issue and add CBD zoning was likely in the future for the village, but not something they were really interested in addressing at this point.

“While CBD can be helpful health-wise, basically I’m looking at this as a legal issue,” said Commissioner Mark Paschke. “I think we need to err on the side of caution here. Once it’s a legalized statute, I could see adding it into our ordinance.”

“I think we should deny it until we get rid of all that gray area,” said Commissioner David Liss. “When they figure it out, then we can amend our ordinance.”

Brunnquell agreed.

“In light of the fact that it is not clear, I don’t think we want to be on that slippery slope,” he said. “When it does become a legal sale, then I do believe we need to find a place for it in the village.”

<<EARLIER: CBD discussion moves to Grafton

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