Could Wisconsin's "Right to Try" bill apply to medical cannabis?

Posted: March 13, 2018 by Gary Storck
Category: Medical

UPDATE: 15:33:16 PM 2018-03-31: On Wednesday, March 27, Gov. Walker signed Senate Bill 84, which was then published as 2017 Wisconsin Act 165.

The Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell, writing today in Forbes about federal Republican-backed "Right to Try" legislation, "GOP Leaders' Bill Could Let Patients Use Medical Marijuana", suggests the bill now before Congress, H.R.878, includes certain provisions for what can be considered an "eligible investigational drug," all of which cannabis appears to meet.

According to FAQ at, "Right To Try is legislation that allows terminally ill patients to access investigational treatments that have passed basic safety testing (Phase I) with the FDA, but are not yet available on pharmacy shelves."

The Wisconsin Senate recently passed 2017 Senate Bill 84, a state version of federal "Right to Try" legislation, which was then passed by the Assembly and sent to Gov. Scott Walker for signing.

A Capitol source confirmed the bill has been enrolled and Walker is expected to sign it and can call for it at any time. If he does not call for it before April 12, the clock will start ticking for him to sign within six business days, or the bill will automatically become law.

Angell notes in Forbes that in order to qualify under the proposed federal law, the following conditions must apply, "a drug has to have completed a phase 1 clinical trial" and "be under active development and not yet have been approved or licensed for any legal use by the federal government." The drug "also needs to be the subject of an active investigational new drug application and under investigation in a clinical trial intended to form the basis of a claim of effectiveness in support of approval or licensure by the FDA."

Research being funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Angell contends, appears to neet these conditions for including cannabis.

Cannabadger reached out to bill sponsor State Sen. Terry Moulton's office and was advised the state bill is closely modeled after the federal bill.

A look at the state bill text below appears to confirm the state proposal could be subject to the same interpretation as the federal proposal wording, and medical cannabis apparently meets the definitions needed to qualify it under the bill for terminally-ill patients wanting to try it.

Section of SB84 that might qualify terminal patients to use medical pot.