MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – For the first time there was a public hearing on legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin. It happened on 4/20 day which is often associated with a day of celebration among marijuana advocates.

This was just a hearing. The Legislature is already adjourned for the year. So, the soonest any action could take place would be in 2023.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Mary Felzkowski says she at least wanted to get the conversation started.

People attending the hearing pointed out that the latest Marquette University Law School Poll showed 61% of Wisconsin residents support full cannabis legalization.

In Green Bay, The Dispensary owner William Nething says he supports legalization if it is done with regulation and a fair tax rate.

He says a high tax rate risks creating black market dealing at a lower cost.

Right now The Dispensary can sell a less potent form of cannabis called D-8 in any one of its eight Wisconsin locations to people 21 years old or older.

Nething says he prides himself on running a professional and clean business. That also includes heading Hemp 4 Vets which focuses on employing the military and offering them guidance in pain relief and use of the edible and smokeable products. As a two-decade Army combat Veteran, he says he believes strongly in an alternative to pain killers and opioids.

He also thinks being a responsible and clean business is important.

“A lot of these head shops where they have stuff laying everywhere is a poor representation of what a true structure business and dispensary should look like,” Nething tells Local 5 News.

The Dispensary says the “Buy Local” mantra applies to them.

“Everything is made here in Green Bay at our production facility,” says Ryan Curtis, who works at The Dispensary Green Bay location along University Avenue. “You know what you’re getting. Where you’re getting it from. We’ve got the testing for everything.”

The Dispensary also has locations in Virginia with plans to open up shops in two other states soon.

Nething says that’s a clear sign of growing consumer interest.