Iowa: Lawmakers Pass Legislation Amending State’s Medical CBD Access Program

Des Moines, IA: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House File 2589, to amend state law permitting qualified patients access to high CBD/low-THC products.

The measure expands the pool of patients eligible for licensed CBD products to include those with post-traumatic stress and chronic pain conditions. It also allows physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and/or podiatrists the ability to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

It replaces the existing three percent THC cap on state-regulated CBD products with new requirements prohibiting dispensaries from dispensing “more than a combined total of four and one-half grams of total THC to a patient … in a 90-day period.”  This threshold will not apply to patients suffering from a terminal illness or to those whose physicians have determined greater quantities of THC are necessary in order to sufficiently treat the patient’s debilitating medical condition.

Separate provisions in the legislation require licensed dispensaries to “employ a pharmacist or pharmacy technician” on staff “for the purpose of making dosing recommendations” to patients.

Currently, only three of the state’s five eligible dispensaries are operational, as is only one of the state’s two eligible cannabis manufacturers. Critics of the state’s limited access program have called it “the most bureaucratic, expensive, and ineffective program in the country.”

The measure now awaits action from Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. Last year, the Governor vetoed legislation that removed the three percent THC limit on cannabis products and permitted chronic pain patients to be eligible for cannabis therapy.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator.