Iowa is Trying to Expand It’s Restrictive Medical Marijuana Program

Medical Marijuana Patients are Worried that Even with an Expansion of the Program, Costs Would Still be too Prohibitive

There are only a small handful of states now that do not offer any sort of cannabis products legally. Most will at least offer some sort of CBD product. Then there are states like Iowa where voters approved medical marijuana that even contains THC but the program is so restrictive and limited that it is almost unusable. Iowa is currently trying to expand their laws, but it still may not be enough.

One of the biggest challenges that medical marijuana patients are running into is that medical marijuana is not cheap. Not only do prices fluctuate regularly, but they cannot count on insurance to help them and fees to the state add an additional hassle and cost to the process as well. Many people interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis would prefer to stick with the black market.

“We’ve provided some false hope,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat who has backed efforts to expand access to medical marijuana. “There are thousands of Iowans counting on us to deliver.”

Iowa legalized possession of cannabis oil in 2014, but there was no legal means to obtain the substance until a bill approved last year allowed for its manufacture and for five dispensaries— planned for Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Davenport, Waterloo and the Des Moines suburb of Windsor Heights. The expansion was part of last year’s budget negotiations, and it was one of the final bills following all-night negotiations on the last day of the session.

Last year’s deal capped the amount of THC, the most psychoactive compound in marijuana, at 3 percent for any legal cannabis oil. That limit has been the main target of advocates seeking to further expand medical marijuana in the state.

There are other states like Iowa struggling to catch up on the research surrounding marijuana and rid themselves of preconceived notions about marijuana. While the west coast and east coast of the United States seem to be figuring out their marijuana laws, how long will it take states like Iowa to understand?


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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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