Iowa Geographically Advantageous Medical Marijuana Program

Iowa’s medical marijuana program is very limited, however other medical marijuana states could take a page from Iowa’s geographically advantageous plan. States like Florida have a large geographical issue with dispensary locations since cities and counties can ban dispensaries, leading to an overabundant amount of medical cannabis outlets in the norther portion of the state.

Iowa just expanded its medical marijuana program allowing a few more severe conditions and manufacturers. Lawmakers are trying to spread marijuana dispensary locations throughout the state evenly. Many Florida cites and counties claim they are electing to ban dispensaries due to the zoning laws which mandate that they zone cannabis outlets just like they do pharmacies, which ends up putting dispensaries too close to school and residential zones for rule makers’ comfort.

“We want to make sure that patients throughout the state have access to the product, so we’ll be looking at geography and that sort of thing as well as the number of applications that come in and where they are going to come in from,” Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of state Department of Public Health, told members of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board.

Applicants responding to the state’s request for proposals have until March 8 to respond.

 Iowa health officials aim to post its notice of intent to award licenses for up to five medical cannabis dispensaries by March 30, she said.

Based upon data of patients and primary caregivers registered under Iowa’s current limited medical cannabis program, Reisetter said it’s not surprising the most participants are in Iowa’s most-populous areas.

But, she said, there is concern people seeking future access to the new products being manufactured and distributed in Iowa not have to drive great distances to buy them.

There is a large push in Iowa to expand their medical marijuana program even further to allow products that contain more THC and increase the amount of conditions that qualify to register with the state. Is a medical marijuana program that only allows CBD cannabis products sufficient?

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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