Iowa Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds

As the legislative session came to an end last Sunday, Iowa Senate sent governor Kim a bill that seeks to expand the medical marijuana program of the state.

The aim of the bill is allowing more volumes of potent medical marijuana at the five dispensaries of Iowa. This would help remove the 3% cap on intoxicating THC and replace that with 25 grams per-person limit in 90 days.

However, terminally ill persons that have a less-than-one-year life expectancy are an exempted from this limit.

Senator Tom Greene, R-Burlington passionately expressed his support for this change with tears citing that there are so many patients in need of medication. In addition, he said that the bill was a small step that would keep the ball rolling. He went on to indicate that reclassification would make leaps and bounds, and as well offer much care to Iowans.

In support, a handful of other senators suggested that the federal government should facilitate medical marijuana research to determine the proper use of the drug.

This bill seeks to expand the list of the kinds of health practitioners who can recommend a patient for a medical marijuana card. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are added on this, and a ban is removed from people with criminal charges.

Senator Rich Taylor, D-Mount Pleasant, said this enables the state to do more for residents in a more controlled way.

The Senate passed this bill with 40 votes against 7 votes. However, nothing substantial was said by Senators who voted against it during the debate.

The bill now goes to Governor Kim Reynolds for a signature, even though it is not clear whether he is in support of the policy.

Even after the bill is signed into law, Iowa’s medical marijuana program will still be limited to qualified people. With qualifications being based on a precise list of medical conditions.