About Cannabis in Iowa
As of September 2023, Iowa currently has five licensed and operating medical cannabis dispensaries. All eyes are on the state as legislators continue pushing to legalize adult use cannabis.
Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Act signed in 2017 by Gov. Terry Branstad initially allowed qualifying patients to consume pharmaceutical-grade marijuana extracts supplied through state-wide dispensaries. However, since its start, some of its dispensaries and manufacturing facilities have closed due to low-THC levels and lack of physician participation, according to Marijuana Business Daily.
Add in how hard COVID-19 hit the Hawkeye State sales, and Iowa is not faring well when it comes to medicinal cannabis sales, adds The Gazette, a local Iowa newspaper. Initially, all dispensary products were supplied by Iowa-based manufacturer MedPharm, which made up to 3% THC-infused capsules, tinctures, and creams.
That is not the case now.
“COVID-19 is just one roadblock for Iowa’s medical marijuana program, which saw the departure of Iowa Relief, which had built a manufacturing facility in Cedar Rapids, earlier this month and the closures of two of the state’s five dispensaries in March,” reports The Gazette.
But among all the restrictions, current Gov. Kim Reynolds recently expanded the program by eliminating the 3% limit of THC and changing the limit to 4.5 grams of THC in 90 days, according to KCRG. The Des Moine news source reports the legislation added severe autism and PTSD disorder to the list of qualifying conditions and allows podiatrists, advanced registered nurses and practitioners, and physician assistants as eligible cannabis card providers.
Qualifying Conditions in Iowa
There are more than a dozen qualifying conditions that make Iowa residents eligible for a medical cannabis registration card. They include:
The cost for a medical cannabis card is $25 for a one-year registration. The card must be renewed annually to remain valid.
Caregiver Registration in Iowa
Caregivers of either an adult or minor registered cannabis cardholders are encouraged to apply online for efficient evaluation and a faster approval. To be eligible as a caregiver, the applicant must be named on the Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form that must be signed by the patient’s primary doctor.
Additionally, the caregiver must have photo identification or a valid driver’s license form Iowa or the bordering states of Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, or South Dakota. The cost of caregiver registration is $25 payable to the Iowa Department of Public Health. After a caregiver is approved to assist a patient, they must visit any Iowa Department of Transportation facility to register their medicinal cannabis oil card.
Possession and Cultivation Limits for Medical Marijuana in Iowa
Raw leaf and edibles are not legal in Iowa; however, it is allowed in every other form, including oral, vaporizable, topical, nebulizers, and suppositories. Recently, Gov. Kim Reynolds revised the 3% THC cap to 4.5 grams of THC allowable every 90 days. If a patient needs more, their physician can recommend and request a greater quantity be allowed to provide adequate relief for the particular condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s simple. Use the form at the top of this page to begin the process, and Veriheal will begin setting you up with a physician who can evaluate your health and confirm your condition.
Once you’re approved, fill out your application with the state and pay your $25 one-year registration fee. Each patient in Iowa will need to be re-certified annually by a licensed physician
The cost for the medical marijuana evaluation and approval with Veriheal is $199, with a full guarantee that if not approved, payment will be reimbursed immediately. Iowa charges a $25 registration fee separate from Veriheal.
To qualify for medical cannabis in Iowa, you must be diagnosed with at least one of the following qualifying conditions: adult autism with aggression and self-injury, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of less than a year, cachexia, cancer with chronic pain and nausea, corticobasal degeneration, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, intellectual disability with aggression and self-injury, multiple sclerosis with severe muscle spasms, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, seizures, severe intractable autism with aggressive and self-injury, ulcerative colitis, and untreatable pain.
While “chronic pain” is not listed under qualifying conditions, untreatable pain is one. So, yes, it is a qualifying condition.
Yes. You must renew your medical cannabis license card annually by visiting a medical marijuana healthcare practitioner to have them recertify your condition, submit required forms to the Iowa Department of Public Health, and paying the Iowa registration fee ($25 annually).
Yes. To be approved for a medical cannabis license in the state of Iowa an applicant must provide either a state driver’s license or identification card to show proof of residency.
That depends on the state you are visiting, which is why it is important to contact the region to find out their medical cannabis rules and regulations.
If you are not approved, then your consultation is free. We entail a network of highly qualified medical practitioners who are willing to evaluate any patient to see if they qualify for medical cannabis. We have a very high approval rate so if you are not approved you are refunded in full.
No, you cannot. You can only get approved for medical marijuana from a practitioner who has registered with the Iowa medical marijuana program. And for that, you can make an appointment with a Veriheal physician, so you do not need to go through your primary care physician.
There are already tons of dispensaries all over the state. You can see a list of dispensaries here.
There is a wide variety of products available to medical cannabis patients in Iowa. Products that can be found in medical dispensaries include oral forms (i.e. tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures, and sublingual prodcuts), topical products, vapes, concentrates and extracts, as well as suppositories.
As of 2022, patients are not able to purchase flower (loose leaf, “joints,” etc.) or THC-infused edibles (“gummies,” chocolates, etc.).
The state will process your application and will approve you within 3-5 business days of completing your application. You can then go pick up your card from any DMV or courthouse.
Yes, you must have a valid medical cannabis card to purchase and possess cannabis in Iowa legally.