MADISON: After a May 3 public hearing, the State Senate’s committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations has voted 5-0 to pass Senate Bill 54 out of committee. SB 54, companion to Assembly Bill 57, would outlaw synthetic cannabinoids. These substances are often marketed as incense under names including K2 and Spice. Synthetic cannabinoids are lab versions of compounds found in whole cannabis – cannabinoids, and substances produced in the human body – endocannabinoids. The “granddaddy” of synthetic cannabinoids is dronabinol or Marinol, an FDA approved Schedule 3 medication. The substances sold as K2 are other analogues developed by chemists for research that “escaped” into the market to fill the void caused by marijuana prohibition.

The two Democrats on the committee Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) joined three Republicans in the unanimous action. In addition, Sen. Neil Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) signed on to the bill as a co-author after the hearing.

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