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Iowa Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

MN Marijuana

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad has signed HB 512 into law, thus legalizing medical marijuana in the state. With a doctor’s recommendation and confirmation of a qualifying condition, patients in Iowa will be able to access low-THC marijuana oil come December 1, 2018.

By December 2018, patients will have in-state access, Marijuana Policy Project reports. Protection from prosecution will also be upheld. A certification must be obtained by a licensed doctor for patients to apply for the program. Surgeons and osteopathic doctors may also be able to provide recommendations.

Iowa qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer – when chronic/severe pain, nausea or severe vomiting is present
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis – with severe/persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Terminal illness – with a life expectancy less than 1 year and other conditioning factors
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Untreatable pain

Residency restrictions also apply, as the state requires all patients to be permanent residents of Iowa. Those under age 18 will have to have a caregiver. Caregivers are only permitted to aid in administering the medicine or obtaining it. Caregivers have to be Iowa residents and over age 18. They also have to be designated by the recommending doctor on the patient’s application. Caregiver cards are a mere $25

Patients are required to pay a $100 fee to obtain a medical marijuana card. Discounts are given to those on disability, Social Security or other state-funded assistance programs. For those patients, the fee will be just $25.

The Medical Cannabidiol Board will determine when and which conditions to add as the program grows. This group is also responsible for recommending to the General Assembly to increase the THC concentration permitted by the program. The legislature has the final say, but the Medical Cananbidiol Board would need to make the recommendation.

THC may not exceed 3-percent. No smokable forms of medical marijuana will be permitted. The Department of Health hasn’t determined yet just how much of the medicine patients will be allowed to possess.

Iowa is teaming up with Minnesota and will allow patients from Iowa to trek into Minnesota to obtain their medicine. Minnesota’s regulations have to be updated to reflect this. Patients would have to register in order to purchase medical marijuana products in Minnesota. Out-of-state patients can use medicine in the state, but can’t make any purchases.