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.
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.