The WI Cannabis Expo is returning to Milwaukee for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cannabis is illegal in Wisconsin, however a 2018 Farm Bill allowed hemp growers the ability to produce hemp-based products, like cannabidiol (CBD), and infuse them into things like gummies and oils.
The use of CBD is becoming more common and you can find the products at stores, including gas stations. Also, marijuana legalization remains a highly supported issue.
More than 80% of Wisconsinites support the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, according to a 2019 Marquette University Law School poll. Roughly 60% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use in addition to medical use, according to a 2021 Pew Research poll.
Thirty-eight states now have medical marijuana programs. Last month, for the first time ever, the Wisconsin Legislature held debate on legislation that would create a state-run medical marijuana program, however the bill went nowhere in the Republican-led state legislature. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has called for marijuana legalization in multiple state budgets.
Alternative newspaper Shepherd Express is the presenting sponsor of the expo. The publication dedicates a section to hemp, the fight to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin and hemp-related business.
Louis Fortis, editor and publisher of the Shepherd Express, said the expo will bring more awareness to the issue of marijuana legislation.
"The current legislators are ignoring the will of the people. I don't know what's driving them," said Fortis, who served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1987 to 1993. "Medical marijuana has helped a lot of children with epilepsy and things like that."
The WI Cannabis Expo is being marketed as a two-city event (Milwaukee and Madison). The Milwaukee event takes place June 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center. The Madison event is in November.
Event goers can purchase a dual expo pass for both Milwaukee and Madison for $35. General admission into just the Milwaukee event is $20 if you purchase a ticket in advance or you can pay $30 at the door.
Like any expo, attendees will be able to chat with thousands of enthusiasts. There will also be presentations and a chance to sample and purchase product. Fortis said roughly 3,100 people went to the February 2020 event in Milwaukee.
Attendees must be 18 years or older to attend, and 21 years or older to sample any products.
The event's organizers said vaping, dabbing and smoking of any kind is not allowed at the event. Anyone seen doing it will be asked to leave the building.
To purchase tickets in advance, visit wicannabisexpo.com.
Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.
DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: WI Cannabis Expo returning to Milwaukee on June 4