Godlewski an advocate for hemp industry
Wisconsin state treasurer visits Waupaca CBD store
By Robert Cloud
State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski first became interested in hemp while working on a congressional task force that focused on post traumatic stress disorder.
“I was sceptical at first,” Godlewski said. “Then I heard testimony from veterans who said CBD was helping them with their symptoms.”
Godlewski was in Waupaca June 7, visiting with Morgan Trone, owner of Your CBD Store in downtown Waupaca.
She says one of her responsibilities as state treasurer is to ensure economic growth.
That means helping entrepreneurs in the nascent hemp industry secure financing.
Godlewski noted banks are sceptical about making loans and providing credit to hemp-related businesses.
She said CBD stores, hemp growers and processors often struggle finding a bank because banks see their business as possibly illegal.
“We are actually educating banks that this is legal so businesses can get loans,” Godlewski said.
Prior to the 1950s, Wisconsin was a top producer of industrial hemp.
“Hemp was used as cattle feed,” Godlewski said.
Hemp fibers were also used in clothing and ropes.
Hemp legal journey
The federal government criminalized hemp production in 1970 with the Controlled Substances Act, which classified the cannibus plants marijuana and hemp as narcotics.
Unlike marijuana, the hemp plant does not have the psychoactive compound THC.
Instead of THC, hemp has CBD, a compound some researchers have found to alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and physical pain.
When Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2014, it opened the door for the cultivation of hemp by distinguishing it from marijuana.
Instead of being classified as a narcotic, hemp is now classified as an agricultural commodity.
Wisconsin began licensing farmers to grow and process hemp in 2018.
Since then, more than 2,000 hemp producers have applied for licensing.
“We produce more hemp than the rest of the country combined,” Godlewski said.
She said the hemp CBD industry nationwide is worth $600 million and continues to grow.
Trone said she had no problems obtaining loans from banks.
Since opening her first Your CBD Store in Waupaca in October 2018, Trone has also opened stores in Oshkosh and Weston.
Trone became interested in CBD when she began looking for alternatives to treat her daughter’s ADHD.
“Within the first day of trying CBD, my daughter began to notice a difference,” Trone said. “She felt great and had less anxiety.”
Glodowski said one of the benefits of going to a CBD store is the people working there can help customers find the right product and determine the correct dosage for their symptoms.